Heineman Middle School students helped bring clean water to individuals in Haiti who previously lacked consistent access to that basic necessity.
Sixth-grade classrooms competed in a variety of fundraisers, totaling about $5,300 to benefit Food for the Poor, an organization that brings services to impoverished areas of Latin America and the Caribbean. That money helped the organization build two new wells in Haiti.
“We were able to see how much of an impact we have on people in third-world countries. They loved seeing their money and hard work go to a great cause that is life-changing for people,” said Melissa Kasischke, Team 6-2 social studies teacher who helped organize the effort.
The project came together after students read the book A Long Walk to Water in social studies class. The book, which focuses on two young people’s experiences in area without close access to clean water, inspired students to get involved with the issue, which exists in many areas of the world today.
Jim Dobbs, a financial planner and friend of Team 6-1 math teacher Denise Conlon who is involved with Food for the Poor, spoke to classes about the issue. After speaking about Food for the Poor’s projects to build wells, he also offered to match the school’s donations dollar-for-dollar.
Approximately 300 students and staff members from Teams 6-1 and 6-2 were involved. The school more than doubled its initial goal of raising $2,500.
In addition to money, a large amount of Heineman Hawks apparel was donated, as can be seen in the video above.
“They especially enjoyed seeing the people of Haiti wearing our Heineman t-shirts and cheering for the Heineman Hawks,” Kasischke said. “We could clearly see how thankful the people were of Haiti, and we loved to see that through our small effort we could make such a huge impact on others.”