Children helping children a world away

Children truly are the future.
The grade 5/6 class at Applewood Public School in St. Catharines has designed – with the help of their teacher, Bryce Honsinger – the Gators H.E.L.P. initiative in order to raise money not only for the local community, but for the people of Sudan.
Gators H.E.L.P., standing for hunger, education, life and poverty, is a non-governmental organization with its own constitution and bill of rights, and focuses its efforts on improving issues of hunger and poverty globally.
Honsinger said that half of the money this year goes to Community Care, as they always leave half in the community, and the other half is going to Water for South Sudan, which is an organization started by Salva Dut who drills wells for the people of Sudan.
“[The kids] decided this year to design a button, which has a logo on it representing what they feel children around the World need [in order] to achieve worldwide primary education,” said Honsinger. “So, there’s a button and also a card that the buttons attach to [that the kids] wrote themselves. They had [the card] printed at the board office and they had the buttons made at a local business called McGee Marketing Devices.”
Honsinger said that the kids have been selling the button and the card together for $2 and in two weeks they have raised $800. They had 500 buttons made and now there is 100 left.
“Well, the goal as always is to sell the buttons out; but the main purpose is to raise awareness, so if we can raise money at the same time – that’s the benefit,” said Honsinger. “The kids take a lot of pride in it every year with the organization. The kids have their own meetings, they run it, it’s part of their literacy program. It’s a bit of a tradition. This is about the sixth or seventh year we’ve done it; so what’s happening is the kids really look forward to it, and we’re able to get the message out.”
Honsinger said that Gators H.E.L.P. is actually a new initiative that picked up where the previous organization left off, and that this all exists because of the children wanting to continue to do their part in aiding their own community and communities a World away.
“Gators H.E.L.P. started last year in January of 2012. The kids set it up last year; but we were part of a different organization years before that called the One World Youth Project, and what was happening was that organization decided to go more high school and university-based and so they didn’t have room for elementary schools. So, the kids [still wanted to help] and that’s why they created their own,” said Honsinger.
For more information on Gators H.E.L.P., visit web.dsbn.edu.on.ca/~bryce.honsinger.  

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