College Kids help the Tarahumara
Hi! We’re the
International Unity girls- Kim, Rhonda, Lakenda, Veletka, and Karolyn. We are
students at Richard Bland College of The College of William and Mary, in
Virginia (USA). We just raised $902.00 for the Tarahumara as a club activity.
That’s equal to 9,000 pounds of corn!
We’d never tried a project like this before, and wanted
to share how we did it. We’re just five College girls, and we were able to
raise over 4 tons of corn. We thought if five other students somewhere else
started a project of their own, maybe they could raise enough for beans, or
medical equipment. Here’s how we did it:
sponsors are Ms. Delano, our Art professor, and Mr. Dean, in Admissions.
That’s Ms. Delano in the photo with Lakenda and Valetka. During one of our
International Unity meetings, Ms. Delano told us about a newspaper article she
had read about the terrible drought in northern Mexico and the effect it was
having on the Tarahumara. She told us that she had visited the Tarahumara as a
little girl, about thirty-five years ago. She told us her memories of playing
with dolls on a cave floor with the other children, and how it was the first
time she realized how big the difference could be between the “haves” and
the “have nots”. When she got home she cleaned out her room and sold her
toys at a yard sale. She set up a lemonade stand and sent the money she
collected to Father Verplanken to help out her new friends.
When Ms. Delano told us that story, we decided we wanted to
do something, too. We researched the Tarahumara on the Internet, and found out
more about them. We decided to have a Penny Drive. It was simple- we took coffee
cans and cut openings in the plastic lids for change. We made labels for the
cans and decorated them with pictures we’d downloaded from the Net. Our plan
was to set the cans out at strategic locations- the Library, the cafeteria, the
Faculty Lounge- and collect the change every night for a month. We decided it
was a good idea to have a specific goal. We found out the current price for 100
lbs. of beans and corn. If we could collect just $9.00(US) per day,
that would mean that we could provide 100 lbs. of corn to a Tarahumara
family. When we collected change from other students, we would point out that a
dollar could feed a whole family. That way, people realized that every little
When Ms. Delano e-mailed the faculty and staff to let them
know about our project, Mr. Dean replied with an e-mail challenge. His office
had gotten together and decided to donate the equivalent of 100 pounds of beans
and 100 pounds of corn to our cause. He challenged the rest of the College staff
to meet or beat the donation. We could not believe the support we got from our
teachers and others! Everyone from the President to the Library staff made a
pledge. Within three days, every single
office or department had responded to the challenge! At the end of the month, we
were able to send a check for $902. to the Tarahumara Children’s Hospital
Fund. We downloaded and printed wallet-size pictures of the Tarahumara to give
to the people who donated as a way of saying “thanks”. It gave them a chance
to see the beautiful people they had helped.
At Richard Bland College, we learn a lot of things. One of
the best things we’ve learned is that you really can make a difference by
deciding to help someone else. We hope you’ll decide to help, too, and maybe
start a project of your own!
PS: Other Colleges: If you decide to take us up on our challenge to start your own project, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org !
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