We have a very special guest blog post for you...a big Thank You to Kate and the amazing fundraisers at her school in Canada.
I'm a former New Day intern, long time fundraiser, teacher, and now a very excited waiting adoptive mama. For years now, my school district has been promoting character education, encouraging the development of empathy, integrity, responsibility, etc. I've always been a believer that students should have the opportunity to "be" all those things we're asking of them. Enter "modern learning", the educational philosophy that we should be educating future-ready global citizens through authentic, meaningful tasks.
In 2007, I initiated a now-annual fundraiser at work. While this is year-long endeavor, it culminates with a giant Bake Sale in May. The Third and Sixth grade teams join forces to advertise, set-up, bake, and sell homemade treats over the course of one very special week (fractions, mental math… skills in practice.) Teachers? We're there purely in a supervisory role. The kids? It's all them. Every year, I watch, transfixed. My ESL student who barely said two words all year? Well she's spent the week selling drinks (like she's at a ball game, I might add), because she's found her voice. My learner on the Autism spectrum who has so struggled to connect? He's brought in every single cent of his birthday money, not to buy treats, but to donate "just because the babies need it more than me." We are being the change we want to see in the world.
The theme this year was "10 for 10": ten kids to sponsor for our tenth Bake Sale. This involved surveys, tally charts, and the compilation of data. When all was said and done, and a few tears were shed, we had $6,886.30 for Cooper, Celeste, Ava J., Amelia, Sebastian, Ava, Ronan, Tim, Joanna, and Connie. My kids love "their" babies and can’t wait to follow their impossibly bright futures!
What seems unique is that, while we do have the odd (and much appreciated) donations of "bills", we actually reached this milestone with pocket change: $1.00 cookies or $2.00 cupcakes (or $3.00 waffles, as was the case this year). Each small, seemingly minor contribution has added up to something truly remarkable: just about $40,000 raised over the past decade (for New Day since 2010). Students now know that even the tiniest seed can grow and grow.
As my husband and I wait for our daughter somewhere in China, it's so full circle being on the other side. We take heart in knowing there could be a business, a school, or even a little kid with a lemonade stand, fundraising to help our girl grow brave and strong. I think most waiting (and formerly waiting) mamas and babas would agree (hi, Lucy Kate!)... donors, we so appreciate you, especially the well wishes you bestow on our waiting children. It truly takes a (big, amazing, global) village to raise a child!
Blessings always, Kate