Dead Batteries Save Lives

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by Jonathan and Christopher, Grade 7 & 8

A group of Free the Children members travelled to Vancouver to attend We Day in October. At We Day, we listened and learned from many important speakers and bands.

One of the biggest things we learned at We Day was the problem of zinc deficiency around the world, but mainly in third world countries. One way we can help children with zinc deficiency is to collect batteries to be recycled. They are then turned into zinc tablets to give to children with zinc deficiency. Most of the kids that have zinc deficiency experience the following problems: hair loss, skin lesions, diarrhea, wasting of body tissues and acne. Loss of eyesight, taste, smell and memory are also symptoms of zinc deficiency. The moment we heard about this at We Day we wanted to do something.

Upon our return to SMUS, we talked about a strategy to solve the problem. A battery drive was the obvious choice. We are going to be donating them to an organization called Zinc Saves Lives who will turn the batteries into tablets and then recycle them. We also talked about how to inspire more of the student body (having a crazy socks or accessories day if we raise a lot) and promoting the idea in assembly and on announcements.

During this week, students have been bringing in dead batteries and it has really brought joy to our hearts for all the children we are helping. We think that helping children is one of the greatest things SMUS does.

The Middle School Free the Children group collected 1634 batteries this week and will continue to save the batteries dropped into the recycling station (in the Middle School foyer) for the cause. Members will be volunteering their time entertaining children with coloring, face-painting and beading at the Senior School’s Free the Children Gala on January 22.

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