Each month, a specific class in our elementary school chooses a charity for our monthly Care and Share Day. Students are allowed to wear casual clothes in exchange for a small monetary donation or contribution for the cause (e.g. travel size toiletries for a youth shelter, school supplies for a school in Africa, canned food for a local food bank, etc.).
In May, our Grade 5 class challenged the student body to raise $600 for Partners International‘s “Free a Modern-Day Slave” initiative. They did a short presentation during the weekly Friday morning chapel service to inform their fellow students. They also strategically placed mini posters at central locations throughout the school to remind them of the upcoming event. However, their most significant action was leading by example. The school wide goal was $600. Their class alone contributed $781 with only 19 students in the class! As a whole, the Wesley community raised $2,629.67 for Partners International.
Tim Arkelll, the Ontario Representative for Partners International, came to visit Wesley and the Grade 5 class a month later. He accepted the cheque at the chapel service, visited the Senior Kindergarten classroom (where one student emptied his piggy bank to support the campaign) and spoke to the Grade 5 class after the chapel service. He thanked the Grade 5 class for their leadership and told them that he would share their story with others so that potential fundraisers could be inspired and current modern-day slaves could be given hope. Mr. Arkell also asked the students what they would like others to know about this experience. Here is what some of our students said:
“We did this because we love God and we want more people to be free” – Abigail
“If a grade fiver can do it, you can do it (referring to raising a significant amount for Partners International” – John
“You are never too young to help Partners International” – Daryl
“We would LOVE for you to beat us (exceed the amount that we raised)” – Adrian
“We’re just doing this to show God’s love” – Derek
“Just do it…you can do it too!” – Chloe
This Care and Share event was truly a “God moment”. Traditionally, our Care and Share days raise about $300-400 for a charity. Hence, when the Grade 5s set the goal for $600, they were raising the bar, and providing a challenge to our community. However, no one guessed that $2,629.67 would be raised! It was very evident that the Lord moved many to give and together, enough money was raised to give 17 people in Pakistan freedom from bondage due to generational debt, and a chance to experience God’s love and power in action.