SPARTA TOWNSHIP, NJ - On March 22, Rachael Paulson, author and founder of the non-profit organization Hands On The World Global (HOW Global) attended Alpine Elementary School to kick off “World Water Day.”
The second and third grade students from Alpine Elementary School had become a part of the How Global mission, which involves children from around the globe to raise awareness, come together, and support clean water for children who are less fortunate.
The goal was for the children to take a water bottle, decorate the label and fill it with coins for one month until Earth Day, on April 22.
The children at Alpine Elementary School were so ecstatic about helping others in need that they raised well over $5,000, which funds will support clean water in Haiti and Kenya.
In fact, there was so much change that when it was cashed at the bank, the machine had broken, prompting Paulson to pick up the change from the school.
Paulson’s car was then loaded with so many bags of change that the back of her vehicle was laden.
While Paulson was in Haiti, she worked with a gentleman named Enor, who lives in Fondwa, along with the Haiti Mission which Paulson says, “is a great organization out of New Orleans.”
“Enor asked me if I would like to see the village where he grew up that is in such desperate need of water. It is a tiny village, sitting on the top of a mountain. No stores, no clinics, no one else in that area helping. When I saw the need in this village community, I took action and this is when ThorLabs stepped in.”
Alyssa Ciesla of Sparta Township, who works for ThorLabs with her mother, both heard HOW Global needed a sponsor, and informed the company.
“Because they are international, they had an interest in me,” explained Paulson.
“They not only responded with a $2,000 donation to start up the project, but also agreed to help match funds raised by the community,” said Paulson, “The outpouring of help was overwhelming, and two schools in Sparta took part in raising funds by collecting change in water bottles along with other small fundraising to help HOW Global achieve its goals of both distributing life straws and water filters and completing the holding tank project.”
A life straw is literally a straw, which is used to sip water, and can automatically kill water borne diseases, for up to one year.
Alex Cable, Founder and President of ThorLabs challenged the community to raise the goal of $7,000 for the funding.
The community raised $2,500 and Alexandra Miller, Manager of Charitable Giving at ThorLabs, was present this past Monday, June 10, at Alpine Elementary School to present Paulson with a $2,500 check to match.
ThorLabs prepared a banner, while Paulson brought along a mural of children’s handprints and names; some global spots included Ghana, South Africa and England.
“It is handprints of children who live with lions,” explained Paulson. "It has been all over the world.”
“The teachers made it a part of their curriculum,” said Paulson of the Alpine Elementary School faculty, who encouraged their students to raise the money with educational activities.
“I had parents calling to tell me that their child just went into their purse to put change into the water bottle,” said Paulson.
“We kept it exciting and the children were engaged,” said teacher Michelle Telishack. “Children are still asking me in the hallways about how much we raised.”
Telishack acknowledged the following faculty, which helped in this process: First grade teacher Kristin Petrik, second grade teachers Barbara Kostenko and Judi Slavin and third grade teachers, Shannon Sullivan and Brittany Lukich.
HOW Global will be visiting Haiti this summer to celebrate the projects being completed.
"How Global Inc. is a Sparta, NJ -USA based nonprofit organization that has organized water filters, water wells, water repairs, extension of piping and startup of food gardens for school villages in Africa and Haiti. All of their work in these villages includes educational workshops. Local author and founder of HOW Global, Rachael Paulson, will visit defined villages of Africa and Haiti and organize projects with the funds raised by your organization."
If your school is interested in being a sister school to HOW Global you can visit their website at howglobal.org
or email Rachael Paulson at firstname.lastname@example.org
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