Cheyenne and Chayne Wright (ages 12 & 10) had been watching the news about the tragic earthquake in Haiti. They just couldn't believe so many people had either been killed or displaced during this tragedy. Their mother (Michelle Wright-Berends) talked to the kids about New Hope’s S.o.S. mission to Haiti, specifically about the orphanage that we support.
At middle school church at New Hope that weekend, Pastor Ann was speaking to the children about the devastation in Haiti and about the children of the orphanage. Cheyenne & Chayne came up with the idea of going through the neighborhood to see if the neighbors would be interested in giving money to support the orphans. Chayne even talked their next-door neighbor (Nicholas Kim, 11) to walk the neighborhood with them.
The children knocked on doors and explained to the neighbors why they were raising money for the orphanage. In about an hour and a half, they raised $200 for the Eden Garden Orphanage! This family also reached out to people in their homeschooling community and as a result, some people have sent checks into the church and one Homeschool co-op has contacted them to tell them that they will be doing a penny fundraiser and making tie blankets for the orphans of Eden Garden Orphanage. As the kids turned the money in to the church office, Chayne said "Mom, I'm so proud that I could do something to help the kids in Haiti!”
Marty Chappell is a 5th grade Math teacher at Fallsmead, a school of around 400 students in Rockville, Maryland. Marty had been excited about his upcoming mission trip to Haiti scheduled for January and shared that excitement with his students and fellow teachers. This inspired one of the teachers to donate hundreds of dollars in school supplies for Marty to take over to the school that operates at the Eden Garden Orphanage in Haiti that we were to visit.
After the mission trip was postponed due to the earthquake, Marty’s students approached him wanting to help Haiti in some way. They decided on a campaign called “Handfuls of Hope” which equated to handfuls of spare change that the students would bring in. Each class was given a container to collect the “handfuls”. In just 4 days, they raised $1,012.54 for Haiti!
Alexander Eapen turned 8 years old this January. This year, after learning about the earthquake in Haiti, he decided to forfeit the elaborate celebration normally planned for his birthday. Alexander told his mother that instead of her spending a lot of money on his party and presents for his birthday, he would like those funds to be donated to New Hope’s S.o.S. Haiti project. Thanks Alexander!
All of the publicity from the TV news and Facebook has encouraged an international effort to raise money for the Eden Garden Orphanage in Haiti. In Ontario, Canada, Reema Sukamaren read the S.o.S. blog after the earthquake and thought, “Wow, I wish I had hundreds of dollars to give.” She came up with and idea and took it to the Good Neighbor Committee her children’s school in Peterborough, Ontario. “The Good Neighbor Committee is a group of parents who strive to teach their children to do good for others for the sake of doing good, without an agenda,” says, Sanjeev Sukumaran, Reema’s husband. In and effort to teach their children about giving to those in need, the committee sponsored a spaghetti lunch for Haiti at their small private school on January 21st.
Peter Bouzinelos, another parent from the school contributed to the effort by cooking and donating food from his restaurant, the Pizza Factory in Peterborough. With the food donation, all of the money could go to Haiti. Students were encouraged to contribute a minimum $3.00 donation for a spaghetti lunch. “They wanted to contribute, and many of them brought money from their own piggybanks. I counted lots of change,” Reema said.
From under 200 students, the Good Neighbor Committee raised $1010.00. “The event has given everyone a buzz,” Reema says, “The kids are all wondering what are we going to do next?” They are considering challenging the local public school to see who can raise more money for the cause. They are also working on getting local businesses to match the donation. Reema says, “As a parent it is important to teach your kids that they can contribute in big or small amounts and still make difference.”