Teaching Empathy With Spare Change

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TOW students fundraise for a group helping children in Kenya.
TOW students fundraise for a group helping children in Kenya.

A spare change campaign to encourage Top of the World Elementary students to contribute to Giving Tuesday raised $2,199, far exceeding its initial $500 goal.

With a $1,000 gift from TOW PTA, $3,199 in total was contributed to With My Own Two Hands Foundation, a Laguna Beach nonprofit focused on the nutrition and education of children in Kenya, says operations director Mary Beth Pugh in a statement.

The funds will underwrite the purchase of three cows and a greenhouse that will provide up to 400 to 500 children and adults fresh vegetables, she said. Surplus crops will be sold, generating income that will fund education, she said.

“The TOW PTA chose With My Own 2 Hands for our Giving Tuesday fundraiser because of its focus on children, education and sustainable projects,” says Jennifer Grzeskowiak, the PTA’s community service chair in a statement.

“This clearly resonated with the students, which was one of our goals. We wanted to help provide better nutrition for the children in Kenya while also showing students how powerful they can be when they work together for a cause they care about.”

The fundraiser serves as a kick off to another PTA encouraged initiative, a student-led grant program. Classes are encouraged to raise money for a cause of their choice and advocate for matching PTA funding, Grzeskowiak said.

Lindsey Pluimer, With My Own Two Hands’ founder, expressed her gratitude that an effort to help improve the lives of children in need also demonstrated to children their ability to make a difference.

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