NEWS

Texas girl raises cash after fires

Not all donations that poured into Greece after last summer’s fires were from overseas Greeks. Some came from total strangers to the country who were moved by the tragedies suffered by so many people. Ten-year-old Catherine Leffert of Dallas, Texas, who has no Greek background at all, read about the fires in a magazine. «She was so moved that she cried,» said her mother Carla. «She felt particularly sorry for the elderly and the children.» So Catherine decided to do something about it. She collected money by making small gifts to sell and also went door-to-door. After six months, she had 150 dollars. Her parents Jonathan and Carla Leffert, contacted the media-led organization «Reforestation Now!» which recommended the group «Plant Your Roots in Greece,» which has conducted several reforestation drives around the country. This week Catherine has had an opportunity to see the effects of the fires up close. She and her family are on holiday in Greece, and visited Olympia, where fires devastated large areas right up to the ancient site. «I thought it was so, so sad,» Catherine told Kathimerini English Edition yesterday. «The trees were like dead or gone.» The Olympic Flame for the Beijing Olympics is to be lit in a traditional ceremony at the site next Monday.