The Owatonna High School student council is holding its annual cash drive as a fundraiser for Haiti, which is still facing challenges from an earthquake in 2010.

Money being raised this week will go to the Hope for Haiti organization, according to the Magnet, the student-run news site. The Hope for Haiti website says their mission is to heal and strengthen rural communities. There is an emphasis on creating better living conditions for youth.

Money raised and donated by Owatonna students will go toward improving education, nutrition, health care and water quality. Fundraising activities began with a dance on Friday, December 2. On Monday, the student council organized a pep fest and held a game night for elementary students in the OHS gym. Other activities have occurred during lunch periods this week, plus through t-shirt sales.

Last year's cash drive raised about $4,000. The goal is to top that figure this year.

The 2010 earthquake had a devastating impact on Haiti, with death estimates as high as 316,000, according to CNN News. The 7.0 magnitude quake also displaced more than 1 million people and caused extensive damage to infrastructure and nearly 4,000 schools. Haiti is a Caribbean country with a population of about 8 million, but with a life expectancy of just 51 years, as stated by National Geographic.