BENTON—As part of the social studies program at Benton Middle School, students learn about other countries and that not all of them have programs to help the poor.
During the month of December, social studies teacher Cindy Weber encouraged students to donate spare change to help impoverished families worldwide through the Heifer International, a charity organization working to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling communities.
“The students were very excited and started bringing in handfuls of change,” Weber said. “Before the donation bucket was ready to go, one student handed me a $10 bill.”
Weber said the classes were hoping to raise enough donations to buy a few families chickens and ducks. Their goals were exceeded as they collected more than $500 in one month.
The students looked through the catalogue and decided to buy honeybees, a pig, rabbits, a goat, three sets of chickens, three sets of ducks and a hope basket. They were able to help 11 families.
“When Cheryl Johnson, the school’s administrative assistant, found out about the project, she talked with the United Methodist Church and they matched the school’s donation,” Weber said. “The match made it possible to help another eight families.”
Weber said she chose the organization to donate to because of her experience donating to it before and its correlation with the middle school social studies curriculum. She said she likes helping Heifer International because not only are they helping to feed people in need, but the organization also helps educate them on using the animal for agricultural needs, like using manure to help grow gardens and collecting eggs to provide more variety in their diets. The organization helps the people utilize the animal as best they can to help change their lives.
“Through this project, students were able to see how Heifer International helps struggling families and be a part of helping needy families have a better life,” Weber said.
All of the donations from the students, parents and staff are appreciated. For more information, go to www.heifer.org.