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|African Service project at high school raises $23k|
|Tuesday, 16 June 2009 18:30|
A spark ignited in a class about social issues has spread throughout the halls of Duxbury High School.
The screening of the film â€œInvisible Children,â€ a documentary about child soldiers in Uganda, inspiredÂ the students in Susan Sullivanâ€™s class on Genocide and the Holocaust to action.
The film sparked a discussion in class which led to several students forming the African Service Project. Soon after that, the students, along with Sullivanâ€™s help, organized a fundraiser at the Performing Arts Center that raised over $23,000 for a worthy African charity.
Sullivan along with several students, gave a report to the School Committee on Wednesday, detailing the groupâ€™s progress.
Sullivan said the film about the Ugandan children had â€œan amazing impactâ€ on the kids, who were horrified at the tale of the â€œnight commuters.â€
â€œThey couldnâ€™t be out at night ... because the soldiers would come in and take them right out of their homes,â€ she said.
The childrenâ€™s plight struck a chord with the DHS students.
â€œPeople as fortunate as us, weâ€™re letting this happen,â€ said Kelly Hennessy.
The students started small, fundraising by selling bracelets and t-shirts. Selling snowflakes at local stores netted a few hundred dollars, and the club donated $500 to help two Duxbury men build an orphanage in Uganda.
But eventually, the students knew they wanted to make a bigger impact.
â€œI knew we had to do something to help them, these kids are suffering so much,â€ said Alex McCaffrey, a DHS senior whose t-shirt design helped raise money for the project.
In a weekend-long event in March at the PAC, the African Service Project organized a concert to benefit an organization called Calling All Crows, which is dedicated to eradicating violence against women. The organization was started by Chad Stokes of State Radio, who performed at the concert along with TAB and local band The Dirty Hit.
â€œWe didnâ€™t know if this was going to work unless we got a big band,â€ Sullivan said.
Along with the concert, an auction was held, and â€œInvisible Childrenâ€ was screened along with student films.
At the end of the weekend, the group had raised around $23,000, and had collected truckloads of food for the pantry.
â€œThat money is going to save peopleâ€™s lives,â€ Sullivan said.