Thursday, December 17, 2009


by Corbyn
Hot cocoa, Christmas cookies, fun games, theatrical skits, laughing children and raffle drawings, if there was ever a time that I was going to call a fundraiser a "funraiser" this would have to be it! Last night I attended Albert Einstein Academic's Plant With Purpose "Florestaval" gala fundraiser, entirely run by about 45 6th grade students. I have to say, I've never seen such enthusiasm, cooperation, and creativity put into raising money for a non-profit organization.
I walked into the school's cafeteria where kids were bustling about setting up eight different stations, everything from Jeopardy (with trivia about the development work that PWP does) to "So you think you can pin" (a version of pin the tail on the donkey that involved a world map, pictures from each country PWP works, and facts about average annual income and environmental issues that affect the regions). I found out that you could buy raffle tickets for any of the 10 or so items that the students had received as donations from friends and family. You could also buy tickets for a dollar apiece that could be exchanged inside for coffee, treats, and homemade crafts mimicking those that are made by women involved in PWP craft groups internationally.
Over the course of the school year, these 45 sixth graders have been learning about each of the countries that Plant With Purpose works in and the environmental, political, and social issues that each country faces. They learned what Plant With Purpose is doing to come alongside rural farmers to solve these problems. Their teacher, Emily Small, is a twenty-seven-year-old enthusiastic, energetic, and outrageously fun math teacher. This year she saw the opportunity to teach two of her elective classes about global environmental issues, while at the same time showing students the hope that rural farmers can have for their families through transformational development.
Emily shared some comments about her class, aptly titled, Root(ed), "My students are learning about deforestation and soil degradation, as well as looking into the solutions that Plant With Purpose has been doing to help the rural poor for so long now. Plant With Purpose is helping them become global citizens, aware of the world around them and passionate about making a positive impact."
A formal invitation went out to the Plant With Purpose office and even out to the Board of Directors inviting them to join in all the festivities. Everyone has been anxious to know how the event went and before I tell you all, let me share this. The students had set two goals for their fundraiser, to teach 100 people about Plant With Purpose and to raise $200. Drumroll please.... At the very first ever Florestaval fundraiser these 45 sixth grade students managed to get well over 100 people to come and raised over $680 dollars! What an incredible story of education, encouragement, and creativity! Thanks so much to the students of Albert Einstein Academy and to their teacher Emily, who believed her students could do anything they set their mind to!
Corbyn Small serves as Plant With Purpose’s Outreach Coordinator. He cultivates relationships with donors, churches, artists and musicians to generate interest and enthusiasm for Plant With Purpose’s life-changing programs.


  1. haha I love this! Especially the awesome flyer

  2. It was such a great event! The students have learned so much about global environmental issues and their enthusiasm is inspiring!

  3. This looks like so much fun! I hope they recreate it every year!!...


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