The joint service project by freshmen at Salem and Huntington High Schools still have some significant donations coming in. Sponsorships now are approaching $10,000. A few teachers sponsored many students and have not made the final tally to write their checks. Also a donor agreed to match teacher and staff donations at the two schools. We are now expecting to top $12,000 between the two.
By channeling those donations into specific funds that are matched five times by the U.S. government and as much as 14 times by corporations, this effort by high school freshmen may have an impact approaching $100,000.
Exactly how the money will be allocated will be decided in the next week or two. Some funds such as those to provide clean water are not matched by government or corporations, but those projects may be some of the most important. Clean water can impact a community in so many ways. When children no longer need to spend hours a day fetching water, they can attend school. Water borne diseases disappear, and agriculture improves. The economy of the whole community is impacted.
Many experts have called the situation in Africa the greatest humanitarian crisis of all time. Millions of children have been orphaned by AIDS and children die from the effects of contaminated water. Many children are kidnapped and force to become soldiers or prostitutes. Marlaria is a major killer as is drought and famine.
Teachers at Huntington and Salem intend to teach their students that the world needs their strength and their creative energy to solve the very real problems that face the world. They want to help students realize that they can make a difference now and for the rest of their lives. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Everyone can be great because everyone can serve." Through this One Life to Make a Difference Walk students are learning what real strength is rather than the bravado that they so often see in the hallways of their schools.
If you think that your school would like to become a part of this exciting adventure, contact Ray Moore through this ning.