Heineman Middle School sixth-grade students and staff members are once again teaming up with a non-profit organization to help bring clean water to people in Haiti.
Last year, efforts led by teachers Melissa Kasischke and Denise Conlon raised more than $5,300, which was matched by local businessman Jim Dobbs. That total was enough to build two wells in impoverished areas of Haiti that will bring years’ worth of clean water to thousands of people.
Students recently hosted Dobbs for a presentation on his work in Haiti and other areas of the world in need. He has worked with Food for the Poor, an organization that helps people in need throughout the work, for a number of years.
“Haiti unfortunately is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” Dobbs told the students. “But it’s only a 2-hour plane ride from Florida. They’re right down the block.”
Dobbs said he has been impressed with students’ commitment to helping their disadvantaged neighbors. The project was originally inspired by students reading the book A Long Walk to Water in social studies class.
“When I was your age, we weren’t worried about that was going on in the world. When you grow up, you will make a huge difference in the world,” Dobbs told the students.
The team has already raised close to $1,000 this year and is actively seeking more donations.
“This is one of the most amazing things I get to sit back and watch,” Conlon said. “We’re making a difference in the world.”