NEW GLASGOW – Three siblings are hoping fellow students at A.G. Baillie Memorial School will help them band together to raise $3,000 for the typhoon victims in the Philippines.
Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on Nov. 8, killing thousands and leaving more than a million homeless.
“I wanted to help because I knew they weren’t doing well,” Hannah Bryant, a Grade 4 student at the school, said.
She, along with her brothers Morgan and Finn, decided to organize a fundraiser after their parents told them about the disaster.
After their principal approved their idea, they led an assembly on Nov. 28 to tell their peers.
They showed a PowerPoint presentation illustrating the damage and conditions people are living in. Afterwards, they encouraged others to help.
The only catch was they wanted the students to earn it themselves. Rather than simply ask their parents for the money, they wanted them to do a good deed or a chore in return.
“We didn’t want to put pressure on parents,” Leisa Bryant, their mother, said.
The Bryant siblings asked each student to try to raise $10, but they understand if that’s not possible.
Leisa said she knows the Christmas season can be tough and there’s no shortage of fundraising efforts in the community lately.
However, when Leisa heard about the devastation, she began to wonder what Christmas in the Philippines is going to be like for those hit.
Leisa and Aaron Bryant wanted to make sure they told their kids themselves.
It gave them a chance to frame it in a way that corresponds to their values, they said, rather than find out through technology.
The siblings have a connection to the disaster because they have many Filipino friends.
They were especially inspired after Leisa and Morgan went to We Day in Halifax.
Morgan, 12, had the chance to meet Marc and Craig Kielburger, founders of Free The Children.
One of the Kielburger brothers even sent a video message to Hannah, encouraging her to continue her efforts.
This helped her before the assembly in front of her entire school.
“I was scared they’d laugh at me.”
No one laughed. In fact, they remained quiet for the entire presentation until Hannah asked who wanted to help when they all shouted back.
“It was really neat to see the energy in the school,” Leisa said.
They also handed each student a cue card for them to write their name, age, amount they raised, how they raised and a good wish for victims of the typhoon.
By Saturday morning, Finn, the youngest brother at six-years-old, had already raised $8.
He listed off several chores he had done around the house that helped him get to the goal amount.
The planning for the fundraiser had to be thrown together very quickly, and the siblings were responsible for the majority of it.
“We’ve done very little,” Leisa said.
They wanted to get it done while the Canadian government is still matching donations dollar-for-dollar, hopefully bringing them to a total of $6,000.
The government recently extended their deadline to Dec. 23.
They plan to donate it to YMCA Canada, so they can pass it onto the YMCA of the Philippines.
They plan to check back in with their classmates next week to see how much they were able to raise.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda