Kids Turn Loose Change into Positive Change for Easter
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 20, 2008) - Forget the chocolate bunnies and the marshmallow Peeps. For the kids at one Delaware school at least, Easter is all about real, live baby chicks …and piglets …and a goat too.
At Christ the Teacher Catholic School in Newark, the students are saving their allowances, searching for loose change between seat cushions, and even bringing in money left by the Tooth Fairy so they can buy livestock, food, fruit trees, clothing, and more for school kids in some of the world’s poorest areas. It’s all part of a program hosted by Food For The Poor, a Florida-based nonprofit that provides relief for the destitute in the Caribbean and Latin America.
In October, the children at Christ The Teacher Catholic School started setting aside one day a week as a day of sacrifice. Every Wednesday, children from pre-K through 8th grade bring in whatever they can and pool their funds until they have enough to buy items from the Food For The Poor gift catalog. By the end of November, they’d saved enough to buy a water pump for kids who don’t have easy access to clean water. Soon after, came the baby chicks –a gift that gives malnourished families a sustainable source of protein from the eggs. By mid February, the kids at had amassed a shopping list that looks more like that of a small army than of a group of school children. To date, they’ve bought 1100 pounds of rice and beans, a thousand pounds of rice, a goat, 3 piglets, two water pumps, a fruit tree, school supplies for a deserving little boy or girl, and clothes and shoes for an orphan.
The program is proving to be a valuable experience for the kids. Joan Smitheman, a second grade teacher at the school says her students are finding out about other countries and different cultures and Food For The Poor’s Executive Director, Angel Aloma, says the learning goes beyond the classroom, ”The students are seeing that for some children in other parts of the world, things like eating breakfast, going to school, and sleeping in a comfortable bed is anything but the norm.” And, says Aloma, “They’re learning a great lesson for Easter; that we shouldn’t take what we have for granted.”
Food For The Poor is the second largest international relief and development organization in the nation and the # 1 charity in Florida. With more than 96% of all donations going directly to programs that help those in need, Food For The Poor provides nourishing food, safe shelter, necessary medical care, educational materials, support for orphans and the aged, and much more to the poorest of the poor in 16 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. To learn how you can help, visit www.foodforthepoor.org.
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