Guys, I am going to Nepal in October! I’ll be joining The Waterbearers on their mission trip to distribute water filters to families in need. As I start to research more about their water issues and how each year, the monsoons devastate their villages, I’m thinking about ways I can help raise money to provide as many filters as we can during our trip.
My focus on this project brings me back to last June when my son’s elementary school helped me (over five days) raise $3240 to feed kids in Kenya.
School is about to start again. Do you want to motivate students to fundraise and learn to give back? The Penny Wars fundraiser surpassed all of my expectations. This is how it went.
Motivate students to fundraise with the Penny Wars
- Each grade was a team with its own container.
- Students were encouraged to bring donations in and contribute to the containers.
- The team with the most pennies at the end of the game wins!
The magic of the game? The students could sabotage the other team’s points by contributing silver coins or dollars, which counted as negative points!
This game was the principal’s idea. She made announcements each morning and shared subtotals in the afternoons discussing which team was in the lead. The teachers were wonderful too, making the fundraiser a learning opportunity by teaching lessons in poverty, information about Africa and Kenya, and even math strategies to beat the other teams.
This poster was updated at the end of each day with tallies of where each team stood in the game.
Each day, I had the help of 8-10 moms who spent hours counting money – (mostly coins!) I could not have done this without them!
The success of the Penny Wars
The momentum this fundraiser received was due to the enthusiasm of everyone involved, from the school staff to the parents, to the students who were having a blast playing this game. It was a wonderful exercise in teamwork (and competition), the spirit of giving, and learning about kids on the other side of the world!
The $3240 raised enabled 500 students in a small Kenya village to receive 108,000 cups of porridge, which for many would be their only meal of the day.
I had the honor of witnessing the students at Kimahuri Primary receiving their porridge on the first day of the meal system.
The success of the fundraiser even made it into our local paper!
The following video captures the energy of these five days of Grandview Elementary’s camaraderie for a common goal. It is beautiful!
If you are looking for teachable life opportunities, motivate students to fundraise with the Penny Wars!
I’d love for you to learn more about Matanya’s Hope by visiting their website. They can always use donations to help Kenya. And if you are interested in doing a mission trip in Africa, You will want to read these posts:
Why I’m spending a week with kids in Kenya
A lesson in privilege – the US vs Kenya
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