The war in Ukraine is difficult for both adults and children to process. Fifth graders at Nantucket Intermediate School in Massachusetts wanted to host a dance-a-thon to raise money for Ukraine relief.
One classroom decided they could raise money by recruiting the rest of the school to help them in their efforts, they raised nearly $40,000! This money went directly to Convoy of Hope’s Crisis Relief Fund, which is being used to bring relief to Ukraine.
“We had no idea how much we would get. But this was our largest fundraiser since we started this about four years ago,” Ms. Lewis said.
The students asked people to sponsor them as they danced for 30 minutes. They even had a DJ brought in to set the tone of the event. It was quite the dance-a-thon!
“I came up with a list of possible charities, and my students chose Convoy of Hope,” said teacher Jennifer Lewis. “The mission statement stood out. We felt like it was going to the actual people … not being funneled through various channels.”
Each fifth grader in Ms. Lewis’ class created a PowerPoint about the events happening in Ukraine, came up with a plan of action to help, and then presented their ask to other classes.
“To watch young adults recognize that they can make a difference … I am hoping they can carry that life lesson into middle school and throughout the rest of their lives,” said Ms. Lewis.
Through this experience, students learned the true meaning of empathy. And shortly after the dance-a-thon was over, they put this new skill to practice.
“A Ukrainian refugee [came to] our classroom after this project was over. The student’s father had lived here as a builder prior to the war years ago, and now they [are] back,” said Ms. Lewis. “The students learned what he had gone through. They definitely had a higher sense of empathy. It was beautiful to see.”
With the generosity of the Nantucket students and community — and with the help of several other donors and partners — Convoy of Hope will continue serving Ukrainian refugees for as long as possible.