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My School Raised 155k for Charity in One Week

For one week in mid-February every year, my school, Troy Athens High School, dedicates itself into raising money for charity. The three years that I have attended, we were able to break our record. From 56k to 57k, from 57k to 84k, and finally, a record shattering amount this year from 84k to a whopping 155k. This is practically double the amount we raised last year and three times the amount we raised two years ago. How did we do it?

We started out with an ambitious goal of 100k that would be challenging to achieve, instead of setting an easy goal that we knew we could reach. Additionally, we had events all week during and after school. (Ice skating, Pancake Breakfast, Espresso Yourself, Film Festival, Teacher Dance Battle, Volleyball Tournament, Jail-N-Bail, Parent Cook-Off, and Mr. Athens.) Many of these events allowed for students to get out of their classes and out of tests with an admission payment (Pancake Breakfast, Film Festival, Teacher Dance Battle, and Jail-N-Bail). “Passports” (Cards that bundle admission to all of the events) were sold for $85 and became a very popular purchase for the student body. We also had generous sponsors from local businesses that could make this all possible.

Aside from all of that, I truly believe that we raised so much because our cause hit close to home. The charity we chose is the Jenna Kast Believe in Miracles Foundation. It is essentially the Make A Wish Foundation on a smaller, more interpersonal scale. Jenna Kast died from brain cancer at the age of 11. This would have been her senior year at Troy Athens High School. Many students, including myself, were blessed enough to have gotten to know the sweet, strong person that Jenna was.  She was the kind of person that is impossible to forget.

The way our community rallied together to reach our goal was insurmountable. Every few steps I took in the hallway, I was greeted by vendors of desserts, drinks, and candy. Someone even rented a bounce house and charged $2 for five minutes jumping time. (Thank you, Nate Kirtland). Teachers would incentivize raising money as a class to avoid taking tests and local restaurants donated portions of their proceeds on select evenings. It is times like these where seeing the good in people and in the world is especially important. I will never forget what we accomplished and I cannot wait to break our record next Charity Week.

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Rachel Martin
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Rachel is 17 years old and lives in Troy, Michigan. She writes songs professionally and fights for social justice in her free time. She is a feminist, a makeup enthusiast, and a lover of puppies.

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