Granite Falls school coin drive raises $600 for Oso

GRANITE FALLS — The kids at Monte Cristo Elementary school wanted to help out the victims of the March 22 mudslide. Some of the staff came up with the idea of a coin drive — kids bringing in spare change to contribute.

By April 25, the Monte Cristo kids had raised $602.85 to benefit the United Way of Snohomish County, Granite Falls School District spokeswoman EB Holderman said.

Along the way, the students and staff learned that they could help one of their own.

Granite Falls High School art teacher Mary Karns lives with her husband three miles east of the mudslide location near Darrington. Her husband Rick works in Monroe, while she either commuted two-and-a-half hours through Skagit County, across the Mountain Loop Highway (also a two-hour drive) or stayed with a colleague in Granite Falls.

Mary Karns was brought over to the elementary school one day under the pretense of reviewing student artwork. Instead, in the gym she met a gaggle of kids who presented her with a $50 gas card as well as a large heart-shaped card.

“It was overwhelming,” Karns said. “You hear about things happening to other people and it’s really sweet when you realize it happens to everyone.”

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165 or cwinters@heraldnet.com.

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