Harvest Elementary School third grader Colin Stack had $100 in his piggy bank -- money saved up from Christmas and birthday presents. He was going to buy a pair of skis with the money, but that changed the day his teacher, Anne Callison, taught him a lesson in science and introduced him to the Trick-or-Treat for United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) fundraiser.
Students throughout Saline participated in the fundraiser and raised thousands of dollars by creating their own Halloween collection box, and collecting cash. In total, students at Harvest Elementary raised over $1,500, including a $500 donation from Colin.
Callison, who teaches Quest science classes, used the fundraiser as a teaching tool and taught lessons about water cycles and the environment. Callison said some kids in her class had no idea that there are people in the world with no access to clean water.
In communities around the world, millions of people are living with no access to clean water. Using unsafe water leads to disease and causes thousands of children to die each day. Water pumps provide a solution.
“During the lesson we talked about clean water,” Callison said. “Learning that kids around the world do not have access to clean water had a big impact on students, and they realized how different things are in the rest of the world compared to te U.S.”
Callison explained what a water pump is, what it means to a community and why it is important for people to have clean water. She also explained to her students that $500 would provide a lasting water source to an entire community.
That information caused Colin to spring into action, and rally his family and friends to donate money so he could raise $500 for a water pump.
“My teacher told me for $500 a whole town can have clean water,” Colin said. “She told me it can change a whole town.”
He added that because of his donation kids can send their time going to school rather than working hard to get water.”
Colin learned that young girls are often charged with walking great distances to fetch water, and therefore miss out on schooling.
“They have to travel a long way to get water,” Colin said. “Now they don’t have to spend their time looking for water, instead they can go to school."
Colin’s mother, Sue Stack, said her son came home that day and immediately began to work.
“The first thing he said to me was that he was going to raise $500 because there are kids in the world that do not have clean water,” she said. “He started making calls and explaining to people about the water pump."
According to its website, UNICEF works in more than 90 countries around the world to improve water supplies and sanitation facilities in schools and communities, and to promote safe hygiene practices. UNICEF also provides essentials such as health care, education, clean water, nutrition and emergency relief to poor people around the world.
The Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program was founded in 1960.
According to www.unicef.org the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign is youth-powered and was created as an education and fundraising program to inspire kids to help kids.
Callison said the fundraiser helped the kids in her class learn a valuable lesson and they were happy to help.
“I am always amazed at the generosity of kids,” Callison said. “They feel good when they help others.”
Colin said he is happy he was able to help.
“I am happy because people have clean water,” he said. “It makes me really, really, really, happy.”