In the midst of responding to those affected by Hurricane Sandy in the U.S. and in the Caribbean, Direct Relief received a check in the mail from the former seventh grade class at Milwaukee Jewish Day School, who collectively raised $22,000 in the last school year for medical aid in Haiti.
Direct Relief received a majority of votes tallied in an end-of-year competition held June 5 in which eight groups of students gave persuasive presentations advocating for a particular charitable organization to receive funding as part of the Voice of the Children project.
“We really liked how it was fast relief and really focused on certain problems,” said seventh grader, Noah Wolfe, 12, a member of the winning group who chose Direct Relief.
Noah added that many of his classmates voted for the organization because of its high efficiency ratings and extensive work in Latin America – their region of study this year.
Noah said the students raised $11,500 by selling Voice of the Children bracelets, holding bake sales, selling unneeded items online and creating and posting videos online about poverty in Latin America requesting donations.
In May, they held a Day of Silence, in which they received pledges for each hour they did not speak, representing children around the world who don’t have a voice. The amount raised by the 22 students was matched by a generous donor and is the largest since the project began.
“I needed some way to bring this alive and make it real,” said Brian King, the head of the school who was previously a social studies teacher and started the nonprofit four years ago with his world geography class.
He said students learn about issues children around the world face such as hunger and malnutrition, lack of access to clean water, education inequalities, recruitment as child laborers and child soldiers, and HIV/AIDS.
Direct Relief would like to express sincere gratitude to these dedicated and passionate students.