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West // West Oahu Coverstory
Christina O’Connor

Kapolei Girl Earns Cash For Crystal Meth Fight

Morgan-Star England of Kapolei (far right) presented the Hawaii Meth Project with $500 to help the organization expand its outreach efforts. Also pictured are Hawaii Meth Project staffers (from left) intern Bobby Rainwaterfalk, senior program manager Georgianna DeCosta and program manager Colby Takeda. Photo courtesy of Anthology Group.

At a Fourth of July celebration last year at Schofield Barracks, a game booth hosted by the Hawaii Meth Project caught the eye of 11-year-old Kapolei resident Morgan-Star England.

She was drawn in by the chance to win a pair of glasses, but became much more interested in the booth’s material about crystal meth and photos of people who have taken the drug.

“The (photos) were very disturbing, and I got kind of curious,” explained England, a home-schooled sixth-grader. “I wanted to know why this happens, and I wanted to help as best I could. I didn’t want other people to end up like that.”

Hawaii Meth Project is a prevention program that aims to reduce the use of the drug through outreach initiatives and working with public policy.

“I wanted to help children my age and tell them not to take drugs,” England said. “And I thought I should donate (money) to help make the (organization) bigger so more people can know about it.”

Following a months-long bottle collection drive, England recently presented the Hawaii Meth Project with $500.

“They were very excited, and they were really surprised,” she said.

England had collected bottles from her community, picking up stray ones as she walked, or asking her neighbors if she could raid their recycling bins. She then turned in the bottles to her local recycling center for money.

The collection drive also was something of a family affair. England”s mother Kara England, who is a self-employed massage therapist, helped by offering a discount to clients who donated $5 to the cause.

In addition to raising money for Hawaii Meth Project, England’s efforts also included raising awareness about the dangers of the drug. As she went around her neighborhood to collect bottles, she talked to people about “ice.”

“I showed them the posters … and I explained to them what happens when you take (meth),” she said.

“I talked to a lot of my friends, and they actually want to help,” she added, explaining that she distributed posters and Hawaii Meth Project bracelets to her swim team.

“And they are telling their friends about it, too.”

She also made a presentation on the highly addictive drug and the Hawaii Meth Project for her home-school group that is comprised of eight other students ages 10 and 11 years old.

Kara is the director of the group, which meets once a week. The students regularly conduct presentations for one another – and the topic this time was persuasion. England took this opportunity to persuade her classmates to do something to help the Hawaii Meth Project – through donating either time or money.

England hopes to continue to work with Hawaii Meth Project and already is setting her sights on her next donation drive.

“We plan to make this a yearly drive,” said her mother.

“Morgan-Star already started to allocate money toward the next drive … And she will just keep adding to it as she collects the bottles.”

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