After Cara Oquendo watched the countless hours of news coverage after a tornado destroyed almost everything in Henryville last month, she decided to do something about it.
Oquendo, a Zionsville West Middle School student enlisted the help of her friends at the Boys and Girls Club of Zionsville West to bake cookies and brownies after school to sell for 50 cents each to the other club students and staff.
“There is so much damage,” Oquendo said. “Even when the town is rebuilt and people start to forget, the people will still be in need of money.”
Oquendo has made cookies for the sixth time on March 28, and in five times, she has raised $55. She also made brownies once. She and her friends have sent the money to the Red Cross Disaster Relief, specifically to help children in the southern Indiana communities affected by the tornado.
She said she came up with the idea to sell cookies and donate the proceeds to the disaster relief in Henryville after one of her teachers had the idea of hosting a toy drive.
“So I said why not collect money and donate it, so I decided to sell cookies,” she said.
Judi Coffey, director of the Boys and Girls Club of Zionsville West, said Oquendo asked if she could start making cookies for the cause and says she has really kept up the good work.
“Cara did it on her own without encouragement,” Coffey said. “I am impressed to see someone at that young of an age come up with the idea and follow through with it. I am really proud of her and all the other kids that have helped out.”
Coffey said it has been a combined effort.
“Some days, (Cara) will bring in ingredients, and some kids have brought in items such as sugar or butter and some days I have actually gone out and purchased items,” she said.