Young students are making a huge difference in global efforts through a school’s annual World Needs Project.
For 13 years, the Southwest Chicago Christian School in Tinley Park has picked an international cause to support. The 300 students, kindergarten through eighth grade, are taking on global issues through good deeds.
“We look at a global issue, and we look at why it’s an issue and how we can get a solution,” said Terry Huizenga, principal at the Tinley Park campus.
She said past projects have been getting cleaner water wells in Zambia and Honduras, donating mosquito nets for malaria-ridden countries and raising money to give bicycles to nurses and doctors in rural areas.
This year, the students came together in their biggest project yet to raise money to buy special needs students in Nicaragua a school bus. They far exceeded their goal of $40,000 through their own efforts.
“We had a successful walk-a-thon where the families sponsored the students for the event,” Huizenga said. “That, along with our bake sale and countless donations, helped us reach this amazing goal.”
Students also raised money by making bracelets and jewelry and selling their stylish creations for the cause.
The project came about when school board member Vinnie Adams found out through his sister, who is involved with the students in Nicaragua, that the children there did not have a reliable way to get to the facility.
“My sister has been involved with the program there for seven years, and when she told me about the lack of a bus, I knew we needed to help,” he said.
The Nicaraguan ministry, Tesoros de Dios, serves more than 100 children with varying disabilities from Down syndrome to autism. The children are from an impoverished area, so volunteers help the students with physical therapy and special education.
The children at Tesoros de Dios will record special “thank you” videos to show their gratitude for the acts of kindness made at Southwest Chicago Christian.
“These students rose to the occasion and then some, and we are so thankful for their good deed,” Adams said.
To congratulate the students on their hard work, teacher Tony Gabrielse was rolled around in a bus tire in the school’s gymnasium to the students’ delight. While the students got a kick out of that, they were more than happy that they were able to achieve their goal to help out other kids.
Huizenga said the main idea of these projects is to educate the students to become leaders.
“We want them to understand that it’s a big world out there and that they can make a difference in it,” she said.
[Via: The Daily Southtown]