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Franklin High School Amnesty International Club Raises Money For Syrian Refugees

Students in the Franklin High School Amnesty International Club on May 23 held a fundraiser for a local Syrian family that recently relocated to New Jersey.

The family includes two high school-aged children, with the mother pregnant, organizers said.

The club raised money through its annual dinner with an eye toward buying the family a crib and baby items.

” We’ve known about the refugee crisis for a while now, and we wanted to focus on someone at home, so in doing our research we found this family who’s living under the poverty level currently,” said Hemani Marfatia, the club’s secretary. “They have two children who go to high school just a couple miles down from here, and  a third on the way.”

“Their story really struck home with all of us because they’re our age and they’re really struggling,” she said. “So our goal is to make their life as easy as possible and to make their transition into New Jersey as easy as possible.”

Shreya Pugalia, the club’s president, said the club holds a fundraiser every year. She said the roughly 12-year-old club has about 20 members.

The fundraiser included a basket raffle and a 50-50, as well as straight donations.

Megan Moyer, the club’s faculty advisor, said the family has established a registry for items they need, which makes getting things to them easier.

“We really hope we raise enough money to buy a crib and other baby supplies, and school supplies for the two they already have,” she said.

Raising money for a particular individual or group is more effective than for “an ambiguous idea of a family in need,” Moyer said. “You can actually visualize the parents and their struggle with trying to raise a kid … they’re trying to do their best and we can relate to that.

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