(SPS) — Spanish National Honor Society students wanted to do something special for children in need this holiday season. Spanish NHS president, SHS senior Reagan Pierce, and club advisor and Spanish teacher Jon Boyne reached for the annual Food for the Poor gift guide.
The charity raises funds for basic needs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The gift guide included everything from farming and fresh water equipment to livestock and stocks of rice and beans– all things for day-to-day survival that some children and families in the world’s poorest nations cannot access.
Reagan and her fellow Spanish NHS members settled on a water pump, which the gift guide listed at a cost of $285. They set that as their goal and developed their first-ever Kindness for Christmas campaign.
“We felt like, if so many people donated $5, that was a goal we could reasonably accomplish,” said Reagan.
The Kindness for Christmas campaign was born of sheer determination on the part of Spanish NHS members.
“We had kind of a small team of students at the snack bar every day for two weeks,” said Reagan.
Students and staff bought blank paper ornaments, decorated them, and hung them on a Christmas tree next to the snack bar at the High School — eventually hanging them on every branch of the tree.
“We just had a lot of fun doing it,” said Reagan. “Originally we said $5 per ornament, but we did lower that. We said, give us any amount and decorate as many ornaments as you want. Because you find out, even with kids donating ten or twelve cents, it makes all the difference.”
They managed to more than triple their original goal.
“The whole school really came together to support it and we ended up raising about $475,” said Reagan. “It was a cool thing to be a part of.”
Then, the stakes got even higher! Denzil Stamper, SHS Assistant Principal, said he was inspired by the project and the charity the students chose. Mr. Stamper promised to match the donations up to $500 — and that he did!
“So, we were able to send $950,” said Reagan.
In addition to the water pump, SHS donations will fund:
-1,000 pounds of rice and beans
-20 birthing kits for mothers who don’t have access to medical attention
-20 newborn kits to help take care of the babies once they are born
“Then we had enough money left over for a school desk and chair and 20 chicks that would provide eggs for families that don’t have access to adequate protein,” said Reagan.
The students expect to get video updates on their donations and the children and families who receive them.
Mr. Boyne and Reagan say they hope campaigns like Kindness for Christmas will become a tradition for the Spanish NHS club, which is made up of about 15 students.
Congratulations to these students and thank you to Mr. Stamper and the SHS donors for their generosity!
Caption: Spanish NHS members Nick Creek, junior; Reagan Pierce, senior; and Emilie Valentine, senior, work the snack bar for their donation drive, and their decorated tree, below.