Last week, Grade 8 student Richard Cunningham held a silent auction to raise money for the Victoria homeless shelter Our Place. Amazingly, Richard planned and ran the fundraiser on his own, raising over $150 for the organization.
“I’ve always wanted to do a fundraiser,” says Richard. “I wanted to do one for some place local.”
Richard began by talking with Assistant Director of Middle School Dariol Haydock. Together, they chose two days for Richard to hold his auction, two weeks after he first got his idea. Richard promoted his fundraiser by announcing it in assembly and began collecting goods to auction off, many of which were his own things. The actual auction ran during lunch and recess, with students and teachers bidding on things such as toys, books and videos.
“The part that thrills me the most is that he did this from A to Z,” says Mrs. Haydock. “There was a lot of learning in it for him.”
Richard’s fundraising was not only impressive because of the leadership required, says Mrs. Haydock, but also because it incorporated the school’s four pillars: service, courage, respect and honesty. The fundraiser served the local homeless population, it took courage for Richard to undertake this project, he showed respect for the local homeless population and he was honest about being moved by the plight of people he sees on the streets. “There is an education piece and an awareness piece to this initiative,” adds Mrs. Haydock.
Richard is happy to have fulfilled his goal of running a fundraiser and may have another one next term, though he’s not sure if he’ll do it the same way. What he learned from the experience, he says is, “If you actually want to do something, get your act together and do it.”
In his write-up about the event in the Middle School newsletter, Richard explains what you need to do to have a fundraiser, including learning about the organization the money is going to, as well as why we need to reach out to the homeless in our community. Though he doesn’t know what exactly his donation will be spent on, Richard knows that he gave it to a good place.
“It feels really good when you give someone money,” he says. “It doesn’t matter who it is.”