Our donors contribute in ways large and small to enable our work. We are pleased to shine a spotlight on four Amazing Kids for their efforts to support Water for South Sudan and thank their families and communities for helping to impact lives in South Sudan.
Ezra S., age 13 from New York
Last year, Ezra and his classmates read A Long Walk to Water and received a visit from Salva. Ezra felt connected to the cause especially after reading and hearing about how far people have to walk for water every day. As he prepared for his Bar Mitzvah project, he knew he wanted to raise funds for WFSS and support the people of South Sudan. Since he loves making smoothies he decided to host a smoothie fundraiser. Ezra created a smoothie order form and fundraising page. His mom Jessica helped share his fundraiser on Facebook and they received 40 orders. “One Sunday, we made the smoothies in individual containers and people stopped by to pick up their order,” Ezra said. “I also talked about the fundraiser during my Bar Mitzvah “thank you” speech. I handed out flyers with information about WFSS and the fundraiser. After, my dad sent out an email and mom posted a link on Facebook. Lots of people gave money without ordering.” Ezra’s advice to kids thinking about starting their own fundraiser, “Don’t just ask for money. Sell something that gets you involved in the fundraiser and motivates people to support your cause.”
When he’s not making smoothies, Ezra loves to bake and play sports. He enjoys baseball, basketball and football and he is a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers.
Kye H., age 8 from Wisconsin
After his brother Logan read A Long Walk to Water, Kye decided to read the book and was moved to start a fundraiser. “I wrote a letter to Santa and asked for money instead of Christmas gifts.” Kye’s mom Lara added, “He explained in his letter that he wasn’t asking for the money for himself, but to help raise money for wells in South Sudan.” Kye also asked for support from extended family and his parent’s co-workers. Once family friends heard what he was doing, they wanted to help too. His advice to kids that want to fundraise but aren’t sure how to start, “All you have to do is put your mind to it and you can do anything you want.”
Kye loves to read, play Fortnight and go hiking. At the young age of 8 years old, Kye already knows he wants to be a plastic surgeon when he grows up. His reason why, “So I can help people with deformations.”
Katie C., age 12 from Connecticut
A Long Walk to Water moved students and staff at Katie’s school to participate in the 2018 Iron Giraffe Challenge. Knowing she wanted to start a fundraiser as part of her Bat Mitzvah project, Katie decided to focus her efforts on supporting the people of South Sudan. “In third grade we had to come up with ideas to fundraise at my temple. I made a flyer with a pledge form and came up with Goals 4 Good,” Katie said. “I brought flyers to school, sold bracelets and asked the soccer team and family to support. Sometimes it’s easy to ask, sometimes it’s tough.” Katie’s advice to other kids interested in starting their own fundraiser, “Think of something you already like to do and make it interesting. Start by asking family for donations.” Katie’s goal is to raise enough funds to sponsor a well rehabilitation project.
Katie loves to sing, dance, draw and play the ukulele. She dreams of becoming a gym teacher to share her love of sports.
Zach B., age 13 from Louisiana
In 2018, Zach’s school raised funds to support WFSS.. This experience and learning how South Sudanese people trek to water resonated with him. As he began planning his Bar Mitzvah project, he was excited to learn he could continue to bring attention to this project and create his own fundraiser to support the people of South Sudan. “I decided to donate a percentage of all the gifts I received from my Bar Mitzvah. Some family and friends donated directly to WFSS,” Zach said. “I handed out brochures which included information about WFSS and sent emails to family and friends asking for support.” Zach’s advice to other kids interested in starting their own fundraiser, “Reach out to as many people as possible. Create a pamphlet or some other way to raise awareness about WFSS and your fundraiser.” Lainie, Zach’s mom added, “I think it’s amazing how one person can make a difference in the world.”
Zach’s dad Tad shared some fun facts about him: “Zach is a very diverse kid. He plays video games with his friends, lacrosse and the flute. He is also an avid reader so much so that teachers often have to remind him to put his book away. Zach has strong leadership qualities and maintains good grades in school.”