Our newsletter contains a section called “Sowing Seeds”. These are stories of everyday people who started something small to create big change at Holy Cross. These stories are shared to encourage and inspire others that their little bit can really go a long way to help.
Kendall shares her story below:
When I was fourteen, my favorite teacher, Mr. Tucker, informed my class that he and his wife would be taking a group of middle schoolers to Belize this summer. At first, I was drawn in by the idea of a trip to a foreign country with all my friends. I immediately signed up.
Upon arriving in Belize, I was told that one day of our trip would be spent doing a service project at a school: the Holy Cross Anglican School. I’ll admit that, initially, I was a little disappointed that I’d be missing out on some “beach time.” However, from the moment I set foot on the grounds of the school, I felt my heart swell.
We toured around the school, popping in to buildings to meet the kids. Though the environment wasn’t ideal, in every classroom I only saw smiling faces. Kids, from preschool to eighth grade, were listening intently to whatever their teacher’s had to say and were genuinely interested in soaking up every last drop of knowledge they could. I thought about my own experience with school, and how many times my peers, or I myself, complained about having to attend school. I realized that these kids would give anything to have the educational opportunities that I too often take for granted. They were eager to learn, if only given the chance.
Since my trip three years ago, I have felt compelled to take action on their behalf. I got back in contact with the founder’s of the school and I, along with my friend who also visited, have been fundraising in order to provide assistance. We began with placing donation jars around our community, in local grocery stores and coffee shops. At first, the money came in slowly. I began to get discouraged. I wasn’t making as much progress as I hoped. I wanted to raise enough money to really help the kids. But what kept me going through the discouragement was imagining their smiling faces. I reminded myself that any little bit helps. Overtime, we found that spare change tossed into the jars did add up overtime.
Then, one day, my friend and I got an idea. She had come into possession of two Justin Bieber concert tickets. We knew then that we had the perfect opportunity to start a real fundraiser, something that would catch on and spread throughout our community like wildfire. We auctioned off the concert tickets to our classmates, to our friend’s younger siblings, to our neighbors, to our teachers, and sometimes even to complete strangers. We were surprised by how many people were willing to buy raffle tickets, even if they weren’t Justin Bieber fans, simply because they wanted to help a worthy cause. In addition, they were eager to learn about our experience at Holy Cross, mainly about the kids and their stories. It warmed my heart to see my community and my peers rally to support a group of kids they’d never even met. In total, we were able to raise about $600 to purchase school supplies.
The day my friend and I purchased the supplies was one of the proudest moments of my life. Walking through the aisles, our shopping cart overfilling with coloring books, tennis shoes, and pencils, I felt a strong sense of accomplishment. But more than that, I was excited for the kids, knowing that soon they would be able to open up the boxes we sent down to them. I wish I could have been there to see them fiddling with their new geometry sets, watching them exposing themselves to news ideas and soaking up new knowledge. I imagined their smiling faces as they laughed and learned. These are the things that inspire me to keep going.