February 25, 2005
Sixteen-year-old Trevor Hardy is one of many Mesa residents helping tsunami victims.
For the Mountain View High School student’s Eagle Scout project, Hardy will send 25 comfort quilts to the children of Kosgoda, Sri Lanka.
Students and teachers of Hardy’s former school, Montessori International School, are working together to rebuild this small fishing village that has a well-known turtle hatchery.
Therese Kestner, the owner of the Mesa school, visited Sri Lanka the day after the tsunami hit and saw firsthand the damage left behind. Kestner was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her sister, Ranganie Wickremesinghe, still lives in Sri Lanka and is helping coordinate the efforts to rebuild the village.
"I feel that everybody has come together in our own little way," Kestner said. "The quilts will really help because people have lost everything. These will help them at least to put something on the floor to sleep on."
Sylvia Fernando, an elementary school teacher at the Montessori school, is from Sri Lanka and still has family there.
After the tsunami, Fernando said she was overwhelmed by the response of her students. So far the school has collected more than $1,000, she said.
"They brought their piggy banks to help," Fernando said. "One boy had a birthday party and said he wanted money instead to donate. Some children did little jobs and donated that money. It was a great group effort."
Two of Hardy’s sisters still go to the Montessori school, and he wanted to do something after the tsunami. Hardy made five quilts and put together kits for each of the classrooms to teach the students how to make the fleece-tie quilts. The quilts require no sewing, only tying knots to hold the fabric together.
"I really enjoyed the project," said Hardy, who wants to go into accounting or business.
Parents of the schoolchildren donated $394.54 to buy the 100 yards of brightlycolored fleece fabric, said Hardy’s mom, Lisa Barnes.
"He told me if it wasn’t an Eagle project it would still be a good project to do," Barnes said. "When he said he would have done this anyway, I just looked at him and said, ‘Way to go, Trev.’ ’’
Find out more
For information on the Kosgoda Rebuilding Project, call (480) 890-1580 or visit