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Bellevue students go silent for World Vision

Back (left to right): Clara Anne Liu, Heldana Daniel, Amiya Marshall. Francesca Abraham, Nelly Morcos, Olivia Roley, Rebecca Mocan and Sarah Heo. Front: Joy Mau, Melody Yeung, Briana Goedhard and Erin Dore.  - COURTESY PHOTO
Back (left to right): Clara Anne Liu, Heldana Daniel, Amiya Marshall. Francesca Abraham, Nelly Morcos, Olivia Roley, Rebecca Mocan and Sarah Heo. Front: Joy Mau, Melody Yeung, Briana Goedhard and Erin Dore.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO

When the teachers and administrators at Eastside Christian brought the entire sixth grade class to We Day at the Key Arena in Seattle this spring, they knew they were getting involved with something special. This was a day meant to celebrate the achievements of young people who had made it their mission to help others in their own community and around the world. What they didn’t necessarily know is that they’d come home with a group of students ready to take action - immediately.

“They were inspired 100 percent by We Day and the Free the Children organization,” said Dalia Ibrahim, a teacher at Eastside Christian who has been working with a group of sixth grade girls who’ve deemed themselves the “Skipping Stones.”

Formed shortly after the We Day event, the group of 12 has taken it upon themselves to combat the spread of child trafficking around the world. The name “Skipping Stones” came about for two reasons: the round stone reprensents the entire group working together as a team; and the ripple the stone makes represents the wave of change they hope to jump start.

“Before we went to We Day, a representative from Free The Children came and spoke at our school. And they told us about their We Are Silent campaign,” said Heldana Daniel.

“We decided to make it a 30 Hours of Silence because World Vision was having a 30 Hour Famine, and we were donating the money to World Vision.”

Other organizations they considered were Free the Children and a missionary based in Africa which the school has worked with previously.

They voted to go with World Vision because they felt the organization was good at using the money to help those trying to escape child trafficking in a variety of ways: providing them with food, clothing and water.

“We’re all really passionate about our Christianity and so we wanted to go to a company that would help us donate it [while keeping that in mind],” Heldana said.

The girls said they also decided to do the 30 Hours of Silence because they felt it was something a large number of students could get involved in without taking away too much time in the classroom.

“It was easy to do and easy to organize,” said Briana Goedhard.

The girls said they organized the event with only a small amount of help from their mentors; some made posters, some made donor forms and they all contributed to raising the money. While their original goal was $1,000, they moved it back to $500 because they didn’t think they would raise that much.

“We thought, because it was our first time, $1,000 might be a little hard to reach,” said Clara Anne Liu.

In all, seven classrooms at Eastside Christian participated in the event, which took place April 25 and 26. At the end, they had raised $5,635.00 - a result that left them surprised, shocked and thankful.

The group will make the donation when they visit the World Vision facility in Federal Way this week. During their visit they’ll go on a tour and be told how the money they donated will be spent.

But the spark instilled in them at We Day has just begun. For their next project, the group plans to do a sock drive for the Seattle Union Gospel Mission, which gives away more than 35,000 pairs of socks a year to homeless people in King County.

 

 

Keegan Prosser: 425-453-4602; kprosser@bellevuereporter.com

 

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