Kate Godlien, a member of the Leadership Class at David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS), was reading The Globe & Mail when she saw a notice attached at the bottom of an article regarding the East Africa Drought Relief Fund.
The fund was created by the Government of Canada to help assist those in Africa suffering a large-scale humanitarian crisis spurred by failed rain seasons, the rising cost of food, conflict, and lack of additional aid services.
“I thought it would be a really good cause to start the Leadership Class’ year,” said Godlien, who decided to organize a fundraiser for the class called “Change for Change.”
With the deadline to submit funds coming up fast on September 16, the Leadership Class had a little over a week to collect and send their funds through the Red Cross to Somalia.
Despite this trying time constraint, they managed to raise a bit over $767.
The Canadian government then matched their contribution, bringing their fundraising total to almost $1,600.
Godlien, co-chair for the fundraiser Erin Hillary, and the rest of the Leadership Class began their fundraising efforts at the Windermere Fall Fair and Scarecrow Festival, where they set up a booth to raise awareness and funds for Change for Change.
“We started there because it was a big community event where we thought we could get a lot of community support, which we did,” explained Godlien.
Fundraising was also done via a booth during lunch periods at DTSS and through collection jars placed at Gerry’s Gelati, Summit Footwear, Begifted and the Quality Bakery.
“It was really amazing, for me and Kate, and it really shows the community coming together,” said Hillary.
“It felt really good, this is the first week for the Leadership Class and it was a worthwhile cause,” said Godlien.
“It’s really interesting to see how all the change we collected added up. It sort of goes with why we called it ‘Change for Change.’ We collected something like 750 pennies, and that just goes to show that small things like loose change can add up to something bigger.”
Information about the East Africa Drought Relief Fund can be found at the Canadian International Development Agency’s website at 111.cida.gc.ca