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Schools for Schools exceeds goal

Monday, January 28, 2008  
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By Guest Writer

Tracy Corcoran

After many fundraisers and a lot of hard work, Schools for Schools at Oklahoma Christian University has raised more than $15,000 for Gulu Senior Secondary School in Northern Uganda.

The Schools for Schools committee has been raising money to supply teachers, furniture, libraries, labs, technology and plumbing for schools in Uganda since September of 2007.

Schools for Schools Coordinator Chelsea Jones said Schools for Schools is about students from all over the world joining together to help other students in need.

Jones said Schools for Schools is not only about fundraising, but it is also about coming together as the youth of the nation and reaching out to students in need in Africa.

“Schools for Schools is about thinking globally. It’s about seeing a need and acting on it, even if it is across the world,” Jones said. “It is about advocating for freedom from poverty and access to education as well as helping grant them the education we so often take for granted.”

The money raised was a combination of $1 coloring sheets, T-shirt sales, CD sales, a benefit dinner and concert, a silent auction and donations.

Schools for Schools volunteer Kay Lynn Gunn is thankful for the students’ willingness to give to this cause.

“I think it’s such a blessing, what we have here,” Gunn said. “I thoroughly enjoy seeing the giving hearts of all the students here and seeing people willing to give time and money when they think that they don’t have it and how they’re willing to search for it and be able to provide.”

Schools for Schools’ goal for September through February was $10,000. The benefit concert brought in $2,490.69, for a total of $15,136.14 raised for Gulu Senior Secondary School.

Schools for Schools volunteer Chelsea Baker never realized how much $10,000 was and how much work it would take to raise such a large amount of money.

“When we first started [$10,000] seemed so far away. Things just came into place, and God was a big provider of that,” Baker said. “He worked to our benefit for those things. It’s a lot of money, and you don’t realize it’s so much until you start doing work.”

“This program opened up the eyes of the students on the committee to see how much students overlook the importance of education,” Gunn said. “The Ugandan students desperately want what we take for granted.”

Gunn wants to do as much as she can to help the children in Africa.

“They want to be there; it’s not like they’re forced to be there,” Gunn said. “They really strive to be able to have the privilege to get to go to a school.”

Americans view education in a much different light than the Ugandan students do.

“After graduation, you go to college, and that’s just the next step you have to do,” Gunn said. “There, they struggle to make it to middle school.”

Jones said it’s been a great opportunity to be a part of a program changing lives for other students.

“It’s such a huge blessing and especially for these students who don’t have it,” Jones said. “It’s been awesome to be a part of something that’s helping to provide that for these students.”

The U.S. has eight districts with 20 schools, each raising money for eight high schools in Uganda. Because Oklahoma Christian raised more than $10,000, four students will have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. for a conference in February.

If Oklahoma Christian raises the most money in its district, a student from the university will be able to travel to Uganda to visit Gulu Senior Secondary School.

Jones is very proud of everyone at Oklahoma Christian who has donated time or money to Schools for Schools.

“We’re proud of the way OC has responded, and we’re thankful for their generous donations,” Jones said.

Jones is selfless and humble regarding her role in Schools for Schools.

“This is a small step to think more globally and to think outside of ourselves and our world,” Jones said. “It’s really not about us.

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