“No Act of Kindness, No Matter How Small, Is Ever Wasted.” ~ Aesop
Have you ever watched one of those commercials where you are asked to donate to help for children in poverty stricken areas or aid with abused animals? Those commercials have new meaning to me since working on Nickels for Nepal. During our 24 hour Skype-a-thon we had the opportunity to learn from a class in Kathmandu, Nepal. It was an extraordinary 30 minutes that I will never forget.
During our skype session they taught us many things showing us some Napelise rupees and even took us on a tour of their school; all of this through Skype.
A few weeks later they were hit with an 7.8 earthquake that forever changed the feelings of stability of it’s people as well as the physical destruction of the landscapes. Many historical structures and building that have been standing for hundreds of years were left in rubbles. Homes and lives destroyed leaving only memories of what once was a vital part of their lives.
The week following the quake led to many conversations of concern for our new found friends in Nepal all coming back to the same question, “What can we do?”. It was out of these discussions and questions that “Nickels for Nepal” was started. We wanted to do our part now matter how small to help rebuild and aid our friends whose school was being used as a shelter and food distribution site.
On Thursday, my class discussed the plan and came up with a goal of $200.00 and our school goal was $1,000 during the month of May. To my surprise the following morning, students walked in with bags of money to contribute before the coin drive had even started; mostly savings from Christmas, birthdays, chores and piggy banks. It was rewarding and exciting to see how the students connected to their friends in Nepal. Although a brief 30 minutes of connection on Skype, the friendships and connections are forever in our children’s minds and hearts. This was a true example of what a global classroom can do! I was so proud of my 2nd graders for thinking of others before themselves.
The first week my class raised $152.24 and the school raised $676.00. The outpouring of generosity and support from students was so tremendous. Students and families of Pine Valley held all kinds of unique projects from bake sales, collections at church, to love donations to help our cause. It was truly humbling to see.
The second week we were more motivated than ever after hearing that Nepal had once again been hit by another major earthquake. Through conversations with my friend, Sunny at the British International School in Kathmandu, we learned that Nepal does not have running water like we do in the USA. The water in Nepal is government rationed in major cities and limited to wells and waterfalls in out lying areas. We ended the week with a bang with #FillItFriday. The students created posters to hold during car drop off and car pickup on Friday as our amazing parent volunteers helped collect coins. With the help of media promoting our project, we collected over $700 from our morning drop off. Our total at the end of week two was 1,875.20.
By our third week, we were so appreciative of everything the students and the community of Pine Valley had done , we believed that any more money collected was just an added bonus. And the end of the week three we had a grand total of $2,294.45. That afternoon some students took the opportunity to find out how much milk, cheese and water after converting dollars into Nepalese Rupees. It was a great learning opportunity for them to see the value of objects from another country on the opposite side of the world. Throughout the last week news of our project continued spread through social media and we even received a donation from California to add to our total.
As I stood at the bank for the last time, I remembered all those faces each morning as they willingly and lovingly made their contribution for their new found friends in Nepal. They sacrificed ice cream money, piggy banks and allowances all for the greater good. What a wonderful life lesson… The entire offering at the end of May was $2,405.26, which surpassed any goal I could have imagined possible.
This project shows how a school, of any size or demographic make up, can come together to make a difference. Nickels for Nepal demonstrates how even the smallest ripple can make a difference to create waves in our great big pond.