by Louise LeGrand, Donor Relations Manager
I visited three schools in one week, all home to an impressive group of young philanthropists. The three schools were Good Shepherd School in Golden Valley, described in an earlier post, St. Boniface School in Cold Spring, and Deephaven Elementary in Minnetonka. A fourth school that I didn’t have the good fortune to visit—St. Mary’s in Breckenridge—just sent in their own donation from a penny challenge.
St. Boniface School
Preschool teacher Nancy Chirhart has a Guatemalan bulletin board outside her St. Boniface classroom where she displays the school’s sponsored child and collects supplies for schools in Guatemala. Miss Chirhart has volunteered in Guatemala a number of times and is going back for her entire summer break, flying down in June immediately after her daughter’s wedding. She will work with the children in our partner schools, which she loves, and will also work on her Spanish fluency.
Miss Chirhart’s influence was so great that when four-year-old Addison Keul decided to have an art show last fall, she decided to donate the proceeds to Miss Chirhart’s favorite charity, Common Hope. Addison was very excited to show samples of her work and wants to visit Guatemala one day.
It was so fun to interact with Miss Chirhart’s class, which knows the names of the colors and numbers in Spanish. I also presented to the fifth and sixth grade classes, emphasizing the need for education to help the people in Guatemala. Afterward, Miss Chirhart filled my car with a donation of school supplies and puzzles to bring back to Guatemala on behalf of the giving hearts at St. Boniface School. Another preschool student, Sophie, returned later in the day with a check from her family as a gift for the children in Guatemala.
I also visited Deephaven Elementary with Common Hope supporter Chris Denton. Her daughter’s third grade Spanish class did a card exchange with students at our partner school in San Miguel Escobar. Chris and I presented the card that the kids in Guatemala made for them. The class was very engaged and interested to learn about Common Hope. They also were very interested to learn about how they and their families could become sponsors.
St. Mary’s School
While I didn’t have a chance to visit St. Mary’s, I just learned of this school’s very own penny challenge. The students collected 556 pounds of pennies, totaling nearly $1,000, which they carried into the bank themselves. The donation more than funds their sponsorship of a student named Erick Chiquito. The school asked that the rest of the funds be used wherever is needed most. Says Linda Johnson, the school’s principal, “Opportunities like this help to teach children about the virtues of charity and generosity.”
What generous and welcoming schools! Thanks to all the teachers, students, and committed staff at St. Boniface, Deephaven, and St. Mary’s schools for supporting Common Hope!