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High school donation effort for Bronx fire underscores the importance of local news

Updated: Feb 6, 2022

By Daniel Schneiderman and Adelaide Suftin



BRONX, NEW YORK — The Muslim Student Association (MSA) of the High School of American Studies coordinated a drive to help families after the January 9 fire in the Bronx that killed 17 people and injured 44. Almost all the victims of the fire were Gambian immigrants and eight children died.

Students from across New York City attend American Studies, a specialized public high school for history and the humanities. Toiletries, new clothing, laundry supplies, blankets, sheets, and pillows, the donations totaled 11 boxes and five bags.

American Studies MSA President Adama Diaby and Vice President Mohammad Zayd – in conversation with Teens for Press Freedom reporters – stressed the importance of local papers in community organizing. Diaby said, “I believe that local news outreach is a great way to spread the word. In turn, the readers are propelled to do something about the problem.”

Charlotte Hampton, Cofounder of Teens for Press Freedom added, “When communities are faced with disaster, it’s vital to amplify local aid efforts. The decline of small publications not only threatens American democracy, but disrupts necessary communication. When projects like American Studies MSA’s drive are advertised by local papers, efforts are streamlined, making them more effective.”

Zayd said the MSA could have collected more donations if their efforts had been amplified by a local paper or their school newspaper.


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