Find a need and fill it.
—Ruth Stafford Peale
How many people do you know who are inspired to embark on charitable endeavors as a result of receiving numerous birthday gifts?
Allison Winslow, a first grader at Porters Point School, recently took it upon herself to organize a bottle-and-supplies drive, raising $50.50 to benefit Northern Greyhound Adoptions, the Humane Society of Chittenden County, and Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists. She explained that the idea for the fundraiser came from the wish to extend support and kindness to others after she received a particularly bountiful collection of birthday presents. “I feel good inside because I have a big heart for animals, and I know that it was the right thing to do,” she said.
Encouraging students to see that they can make a difference in their community and in the lives of others is important—and celebrating students who take it upon themselves to make positive contributions is paramount. When our community members see young people making substantial efforts, they are more likely to support them … and when students feel supported, they are more likely to give back to the community. Everyone benefits from making ongoing positive contributions.
Seven-year-old Allison would like to practice veterinary medicine when she is older. “I think that helping animals would be the right thing to do for nature,” she asserted.
Activism and community involvement are alive and well in our schools; students all across the district regularly give of themselves to benefit those around them and engage in ambitious volunteerism. Just a few examples are as follows:
- CHS students folded over two thousand paper cranes to benefit victims of the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.
- Two CHS students regularly bake and sell cookies to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.
- Last spring, three Malletts Bay School students organized a campaign to raise an astounding $1,515 for the American Cancer Society.
There are also a number of ongoing organized group charity efforts in our district. For example:
- In the wake of devastating flooding from Lake Champlain in 2011, CHS students filled hundred sandbags and delivered them to the houses in need to guard against further flood damage.
- CHS Cares champions an annual Thanksgiving food drive and offers ongoing community support by participating in activities like preparing dinner for guests of the Hope Lodge.
- Colchester Middle School is also running a Thanksgiving food drive.
- CMS’s Caring Cougars group also runs food drives, toys-for-tots campaigns, and other charitable fundraising initiatives.
- CMS’s Infinity Team is also very actively involved in community outreach.
- Students at MBS raised over $1,000 to join the fight against juvenile diabetes and regularly take on other charitable giving efforts, as well.
- Union Memorial School second graders helped to raise, harvest, and donate potatoes to the Colchester Community Food Shelf.
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