Photos by JJ Kaplan
For the past six years, Zionsville Community High School’s Student Council has brought together a growing number of student organizations to participate in the 12 Days of Giving. “The idea behind this is to try to coordinate the groups that plan on doing something around the holidays, so there’s more of a united effort,” said Amanda Vanderbur, psychology teacher and sponsor of Student Council.
Representatives from 30 different groups turned out at the organizational meeting in late October which represented roughly half of the high school’s student groups, keeping in mind that many students belong to more than one club.
“In the past, we have had an anchor charity, such as The Caring Center in Lebanon, Indiana, Gleaners Food Bank and Heifer International,” said Mrs. Vanderbur. “This year, we have a lot of different goals.”
Three primary areas of focus for 2013’s 12 Days of Giving are an orphanage in Honduras; Timmy Global Health (providing impoverished families with stoves); and a mission trip to Haiti where students and adults help rebuild homes during spring break.
Each student group involved will sponsor specific fundraising activities, and some will direct funds to other charities such as Just Win Ruby! Community Connection which supports families that are affected by childhood cancer.
“I think it’s a really good way for all the clubs to work altogether, even though they’re benefitting different causes,” said Dixe Schillaci, co-president of Student Council. “They’re helping the community in Zionsville, and they’re helping the community of the world.”
Sara Prus, senior class representative said, “It unites us so we can all work towards a common goal of raising all this money. It promotes giving. I love it.”
Look for students selling SaveAround coupon books. They make great gifts and can be purchased for $20 with 50 percent of the proceeds going toward the Student Council event. The books, which contain coupons for businesses located in the greater Indianapolis area, will be delivered by December 13, the final day of the 12 Days of Giving.
“Our goal is to raise $3,000 for all the good causes that we’re supporting here at the high school over this 12 day period,” Mrs. Vanderbur explained, encouraging students to participate in all the fundraising activities. “Leaders of each group are asked to champion all the events and talk them up within their individual groups. It’s a collective effort,” she said.
To learn more about the 12 Days of Giving or to make a donation, contact Amanda Vanderbur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-446-3065.
Contributors to the 12 Days of Giving:
—Friends of Haiti – Funding mission trips to Haiti to rebuild homes in Chambrun, Haiti (selling $5 individual-sized Haitian coffee packs and $7 Mud Love Bracelets)
—Operation Honduras – Providing funds to build a kindergarten building in San Matias, Honduras (Greek’s Pizzeria fundraiser November 26, Chili Cookoff December 13 and T-shirt sales)
—National Honor Society and Key Club – Providing funds to Just Win Ruby! Community Connection (Bake Sale November 18-22, selling pancakes and waffles before school the first week in December, also selling candy grams)
—Teens For Life – Collecting baby items for mothers who choose life while going through difficult times (Collecting diapers and other baby essentials, sponsoring swing dance lessons prior to the swing dance)
—Writers Club – Selling Christmas cards
—Timmy Club – Funding the purchase of stoves for homes still using hazardous, open-flame cooking fires in Guatemala (Hoping to tape a teacher to the wall by having students vote with dollars for which teacher will be taped to the wall during lunch)
—Gentlemen’s Internet Society – Raising funds and bringing in canned goods to help families in need for the holidays (Video Game Tournament)
—Spanish Club – Hosting a canned food drive to support the Hispanic population at Saint Monica Church
—French Club – Raffle to local restaurants
—Interact, Project Green and Dr. Who Club – Selling Cake Pops December 8-9 to aid relief efforts in the Philippines
—3D Printing Club – Helping to prepare promotional materials for 12 Days of Giving and assisting with the other groups’ activities
—Leo Club – Hosting a bake sale December 2-6 and a swing dance for students