Inspired and Inspirational
On December 17, 2016, 170 scholars and 6 teacher-leaders at Del Lago Academy wrapped up their first fundraising campaign for Partners In Health. From Sunny Escondido, CA, this passionate group took on the challenge of communicating the messages of Partners In Health by hosting their own 5K Strides in Solidarity and a benefit concert.
In all, combined with personal fundraising efforts, Del Lago Academy raised over $4,000 for Partners In Health's work. This was enough to cover the space and purchasing of an entire recovery bed for mothers after they deliver a baby in one of PIH's maternity wards at the Pleebo Health Center in Liberia. Read more to hear about the people who decided to make an impact.
"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." - Oscar Wilde. This quote was posted right behind the stage at the benefit concert hosted by Del Lago Academy scholars.
Carissa Duran, the head of the English Department at Del Lago Academy originally reached out in about October asking how their program could be of help to PIH in 2016. After this, a core group of scholars and teachers worked to create a 5K run, personal fundraising campaign, and benefit concert, with all proceeds going to Partners In Health's work. This group officially took action, and by doing so has become a part of PIH Engage's work this year.
PIH community organizer and policy analyst, Justin Mendoza, had a chance to connect with some of the scholars responsible for putting together their fundraisers at Del Lago Academy. They sat together on the other end of a skype conference, and were able to tell the story of their involvement with PIH. Here are the insights we gathered from this amazing set of scholars:
Del Lago Academy scholars gather around a computer to talk about their fundraising efforts.
The scholars in the room were all in 11th Grade, and all had their own unique roles to make their fundraising efforts a success. From left to right in the photo above, they are: Steve Ruby, a member of the education committee for the event; Jessica Harkleroad, who worked on entertainment efforts; Kimberly Villalobos, who helped market the event; Eliza Perez, who joined the fundraising committee; and Sasami Scott, who worked on logistics for the Del Lago Academy fundraisers.
When asking the group what inspired them to raise funds for PIH, the scholars had a lot to say. The group was all about the impact that they could make on the organization. "It was cool to think that I could have such a big impact on raising money for such a good organization that gives free healthcare to people who need it," said Eliza Perez. "This felt real and that I could really make a difference," added Sasami. Eliza added that "at an assembly, we were told we could do this and our atmosphere was really good. We even played music and got hyped."Kimberly added that while reading the book Mountains Beyond Mountains she "realized that we take a lot of things for granted. People around the world don't always have access to healthcare."
The group also shared their keys to success for their efforts. "Communication between groups [was a huge part], we work hard to get our goals done, and we encourage each other," Steve commented on the group's efforts. Eliza noted that the group was inspired and passionate, which really helped keep them going. "Reaching out to the community made us really excited!" shared Jessica, who found more help than she had expected from the community, "while I was looking to find a stage for the concert, a performer signed up because they were excited to help."
Like any new endeavour, there were lots of lessons learned along the way, especially about teamwork and making an impact. Kimberly said her biggest lesson learned was that "no matter how young you are, you can make an impact. Even just planning an event - you can do it!" Sasami added that "health care isn't very simple, but there's a ton of things that you can do to make it better for people," she went on to say that planning a big event was stressful at first, but it felt like they did something good. Steve said that the group was worried they wouldn't raise enough money to make a difference at first, but agreed with his colleague when Jessica said that "we have power, especially when we come together... together we can make a difference."
Del Lago Academy scholars and guests play games at their fundraiser!
From the PIH Engage team here in Boston, thank you so much to the Del Lago Academy for joining our fundraising efforts in the fall. The funds you raised will contribute to the large efforts across the PIH Engage network to fund lifesaving health care delivery work from Pleebo Health Center in Liberia to University Hospital in Mirebalais, Haiti.
Ms. Duran shared an inspirational quote which fits this effort all too well. "Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good." - Minor Myers, Jr.
If you want to take action on your campus, in your community, or even on your own to help the work of Partners In Health, check out our resources in our Fundraising Toolbox to get started.