In wrapping up the Kids Give project, our elementary students spent time working out how much money was raised, after paying for groceries. $160! Next they spent time deciding where to send the money. They decided to give to five different charities, and selected Orphan Acres, an organization that takes care of abandoned, neglected and abused horses and ponies, Animal Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of the Palouse, pretty much a one-woman organization that takes care of orphaned animals, like deer and squirrels and chipmunks, First Books, an organization that provides books to children who may not have books of their very own, Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds homes using lots of sweat equity and volunteer labor, and the Moscow Bike Project, that repairs and sends bikes to Africa.
The children remembered all of these organizations from when they started the Kids Give project in December. These were the organizations that really appealed to the children. The ones they chose made total sense to us, based on what we knew about this particular group of children. The girl who remembered the Bike Project comes from a family of bike enthusiasts. First Books was named by a child who is a passionate reader. The girl who remembered Orphan Acres is now volunteering for this organization, and with her family, helps feed and groom the horses. Most of the children remembered the woman who spends her time caring for orphaned animals, and they thought their money would be a good help in buying milk and bottles for the orphaned animals. As for Habitat for Humanity, one child wrote ‘a family + a home = happiness!’
After some division work using the golden beads to find that $160 divided equally between 5 organizations is $32, the children wrote letters and drew pictures to accompany the checks we are sending.
From start to finish, this was a very engaging project for the children, and one we are sure to continue in one way or another throughout the years, helping to nurture within these children their empathy, and their sense that they can work together to make a difference in their communities.