Serving Others

The Unlucky Twin

Photo Credit: ReSurge International via Compfight cc

Part of our mission statement as a school states that we are “building a caring community that serves others”.  We try to live up to that standard by helping people in our local, national, and global communities.  Every year we send our accumulated 25 cent “lost and found” fines, as well as any other donations, to the Smile Train.  The Smile Train funds operations to fix cleft lip and cleft palate in developing nations.  The surgery costs $250 and takes as little as 45 minutes.  Every year for the last six years we’ve sent our money to The Smile Train.   We began this fundraising because the 7th graders read the novel Crispin: At the Edge of the World  by Avi; one of the characters in the story suffers from an untreated cleft lip.  Last year one of our students donated over $200 herself; it was money she had been saving for new clothes.

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we held a fundraising baseball game at our school,     “9 Innings for 9/11.”  Families donated a few dollars to play baseball; we sold hot dogs and popcorn, held a bake sale, and ran a raffle.  We raised a little over $800 that afternoon and donated the proceeds to The Smile Train, St. Jude’s Hospital, Share our Strength, and Our Mother’s House.

This year after reading the book, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, we visited the website Water for South Sudan.  We talked about ways to help the people in South Sudan dig and maintain wells for drinking water, but we haven’t yet put any plans into action.  We are glad for this week’s Student Blogging Challenge to remind us about our resolve and brainstorm some ideas so that the children and families in South Sudan can have safe drinking water, something we in America take for granted.

What are some ideas that we can do as a middle school to raise money for Water for South Sudan?

Watch this video from Disney’s Bridget Mendler called We Can Change the World and be inspired to take one step at a time…

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25 thoughts on “Serving Others

    • Thanks, Miss W. I just visited Digital Voices and left them a comment. I will share this with my class in the morning. (It is 12:27 am here in our part of the United States.) I like their vimeo, too. Adding videos to our posts is a blogging goal I have. Thank you for all your work with the Student Blogging Challenge. We are learning a lot about blogging, writing, and the world around us.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  1. That girl is so cute and I think that she is cute even with cluff palette and I know smile train is trying to help her and I will pray for every person.

  2. I feel so blessed that my family is able to have clean water every single day. Imagine if we had to walk 3 hours in mud, and dirt everyday. Some of them don’t even have sandles! I hope one day that this crisis will be solved.

  3. You can help out for raising money :by having a bake sale , lemonade stand , and you could have a garage sale. What do you think you can do?

  4. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I love this post! It makes me feel so good that there are people out there trying to help fix these kids cleff pelette!

  5. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    I think an idea for our middle school to raise money for South Sudan is, we can have each student donate a 1 dollar. If we did that, that means we have have 50 dollars to donate to the cause. What I can do to serve others is donate more money to a charity like Charity Water, or Water for South Sudan.


  6. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    An idea for raising money for South Sudan that I had is to send a chart home with the middle school students to see if their family members of friend can donate any money for our fundraiser. I can serve others by donating to charities, donating clothes or foods to charities that collect for the needy.


  7. Hi Ms. Donofrio!

    I think it’s wonderful that your school raises money for those who are a little different. But I guess everyone is a little different in their own way. The one student who went way over the top and donated 200$ really helps. But everything adds up, even nickels. My school has a PAC that raises money for things like four square balls and dodge balls. Sometimes in the year we have fundraisers for things like hospitals. One thing that your school could do is tell people to bring unused stuff from home to sell at a school garage sale and all the profits go to South Sudan! Ciao!


    • Thanks, Ryan. I really like your idea of a school garage sale. In fact, it is such a great idea that our entire school already has a garage sale to raise money for the school itself. It is coming up the first weekend in November.
      In a similar way, my third grade teacher used to bring items into school once a week to auction off. I won a camera one time for my life savings of 87 cents. It was an old camera; it only took black and white photos, and the film was hard to find because it was so outdated, but I loved having my own camera. My teacher sent the money raised in the auction to the missionaries. Our school used to collect “mission money” every Thursday. It was a bit of a competition, too: which class could raise the most money. The eighth grade girls would count it all up and come around in the afternoon with a little chart of which grade came in what place and raised how much money. When I was in third grade, we won a lot thanks to my teacher’s brilliant idea of auctioning her unwanted junk to a bunch of spend-happy 8-year-olds.
      What do you do for your hospital fundraisers?
      Thanks again for your idea, Ryan! We’re glad to have you visiting us!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  8. Hi Mrs.Donofrio,
    We could have a carnival and charge an entrance fee of maybe two or tree dollars per person. What I could do to serve others is donate any extra money around the house instead of buying something.-Sydney

  9. Hi Mrs. Donofrio,
    Sydney’s idea was realistic and would probably work. If we turned our annual Fall Festival / Winter Festival into a fundraiser for Sudan, cleft palettes, or any other cause, I’m sure we’d be able to help. We could also bring visitors to school to enjoy the Medieval Fair, charging a small fee for purchases of items and seeing the plays we put on. Have we been able to give a kid surgery for cleft palettes in all these years?

    • Hi Maria,
      Last year we were able to send $250 for a full operation in the fall, and they we sent another $50 or so, in the spring. The first donation was due to Jessica Gonzalez. She donated all her money that she had been saving all year.

  10. Hi Mrs. Donofrio ,
    I think I have to agree with Louis. We should all bring in a dollar, even the teachers, or the whole school can bring in a dollar! We can call it $1.00 Water Day For Sudan.

  11. Hello Mrs.Donofrio,
    That little girl is so cute! I feel so bad that she has cleft palette, and in America we can fix it right away but when these children are born. But in some poorer countries they can’t fix that. To help I think the middle school should make little jars that people can donate money and make some fun raisers. One idea would be have a used book sale or we could sell cookies at our school and collect the money. Do you have a selection of books that you would be willing to give away for this cause?

    • Hi Emmalee,
      I’m sure I could find some books to donate to a worthy cause like this. Next week we will look at all our ideas and decide on what we can do to serve others. Like Salva said, we will take it “one step at a time”.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  12. I think that the reason we are so blessed from cleff palette is partial because of the smart people and good doctors out there who know exactly how to fix the problem. Unfortunately other countries for example in Africa don’t have these hospitals and sometimes the nearest one in there area is a 3 day walk. Fortunately , the organizations like water for South Sudan are giving clean water to all these people who don’t have sanitized water. Hopefully this will give people in Africa a energy boost so they can go to a hospitable far away.

  13. Also, Megan and I had an idea that we could raise money to give Bobbles to the kids in other countries. That way, they can have temporary clean-ish water to have before they can get a well or pump. How would you feel to have dirty water every day, knowing that even though you were surviving, the water could make you sick?

    • Hi Dia,
      I have not heard of Bobbles before. What is that?
      I would absolutely not like having to drink dirty water, and I honestly can’t imagine how hungry/thirsty/desperate they are to succumb to drinking the water. We are so blessed in the United States.
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

  14. Hi Mrs.Donofrio!
    I think that we could have fundraisers at the school, like an art show or a bake sale. I put a post on my blog about an art show, and I think we can take some of our old clothes, shoes, toys, etc.. and give those to people who need it. My grandma goes to South America about every year, and me and my sister donate some old (and new!) stuff to the kids and parents there. My friend had a birthday party and instead of getting presents, she told everyone to get a pair a new shoes and bring those to her party. She had donated the shoes to a radio station, who gave them to needy kids in South America. It makes me happy to think that some happy, little kid is wearing my shoes right now!

    • Katie! What a wonderful thing you have done giving shoes to a child in need. I love it! The birthday party idea is great, too. Does your grandmother go to South America to visit family or does she go specifically to help those in need? Thanks for the good ideas!
      ~Mrs. Donofrio

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