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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Little Hands Helping Haiti

By Rachel H

When an event such as the earthquake in Haiti hits the news, hearts are touched and people want to do all they can to help. It is a perfect time to teach your children sympathy, generosity, and thoughtfulness. We wanted to highlight some of the things that children are doing around the Triad to help raise funds for Haiti, but also to give you inspiration to do things like this with your children all year round. Whether you raise money for a family whose home was recently burned to the ground, or help out a family whose parents are out of work, or collect funds for a child overseas, all of these things will build an awareness in your child that will last for years.

I am excited to share with you how little hands in the Triad are making a big difference for many others in Haiti ...

Laura Ellison's oldest son, Sam, was inspired by a clip that ran on ABC News featuring Laura's former boss and friend, Miles Wright. Miles was making a rescue trip to Haiti, and the Ellisons had been praying for his safety and for his friend he was going to help. Sam had plenty of questions and seemed to be very worried.

So, the next day they made some signs and sat outside their home in Greensboro for two hours in the sunshine with some lemonade and limeade. Laura told Sam that she and her husband would triple any amount that was raised. The day of the lemonade stand, Sam made $95, and that total is now $105. He really wanted to stick us with a big bill and we were happy to triple any amount he made! All the money went to Hearts with Haiti, the organization that Bill Nathan runs. Laura says, "Sam is a great kid, but I honestly was very impressed with how seriously he took this. He said that it really made him feel good to do something for someone else."

Martha Chamberlin, a teacher at Knollwood Baptist Preschool in Winston remembers a student coming to school last week and asking, "Did you know there was another earthquake in Haiti?" as he described the tremor or aftershock of the earthquake in Haiti. Even the youngest children in the school were aware of this tragic event. The school decided to send letters home to parents and each classroom kept a collection bag outside their classroom door.

As students walked down the hall and saw each bag, a discussion was stimulated. They asked questions such as, "Why do the bags have a picture of a medical kit?" and "What are they going to do with the supplies we collect?"
This obviously transgressed into a heartfelt discussion and what the children could do to help. You can tell by the smiles on their faces in the photos that they were glad that they were doing something good. They helped load up all the goods collected on Friday and felt terrific that their little hands had contributed to helping someone in need.

The fifth graders at Meadowlark Elementary in Winston Salem decided they wanted to raise money for Haiti. One of their teachers, Martha Bethel, came up with the idea of a "Yard Sale" where the students would go home and find items that they could sell. She had introduced this idea a few years ago after Hurricane Katrina, and thought it would be the perfect time to do something like this again. The students found and priced their own items and brought them to school on Friday for the "in-school yard sale." Each grade level, K-5, was invited to stroll through the classrooms to shop. Each student had their own "store" on their desk displaying the items they had for sale.

Needless to say, the shoppers had a blast, and by the end of the day, the fifth graders had become fabulous salespeople! How could you turn them down when the money was going to help people in Haiti?
This idea was fabulous for so many reasons. Not only were students raising money, but they went through their own things and decided what they would give up in order to help raise money for someone else. Their hard work through this entire process helped them to feel so confident in their ability to help others. By the end of the yard sale, the fifth graders had sold $2635.00 worth of toys, books, and stuffed animals!

Have your children or has someone you know gone the extra mile to help someone in need? Please share your story with us below!


Jen P. said...

Powerful, powerful stuff! Hats off to these 'lil Smarties!

Beth said...

One child that I was absolutely impressed with was Kate Pollard, who I think you featured over Christmas break. She started Girls Rule and I had heard about her story from many people. I enjoyed reading more about her here on Triad Smarty Pants. It is incredible what a kid can do to change the world!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for the little ones! I am so excited with all of these little things going on in our area. They make a huge impact!

Rachel H said...

To Beth above - YES! Kate Pollard is an incredible young lady and we loved featuring her here on TSP. For any of you who missed it, here is the link to her blog.

Kelly G. said...

I love that our preschool, Knollwood, used this teachable moment about helping other children. Compassion and giving can't start early enough.

Katie M said...

Great post today, Rachel! And here's a shout out to my daughter's school: Meadowlark Elementary! Good job!!

Mariela said...

This is great! Thank you so much for sharing!

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