Giving Children Hope

Staff Writer: Mayson Cambron

Throughout Woodstock High School, there are so many different clubs and opportunities for students to get involved with their community and be a part of something bigger than just themselves. One of the newest clubs, Giving Children Hope (GCH) was founded in 2017 by senior Katherine Relick, and this club is a way for students to have a global impact from right here in Woodstock.

It is no secret that there are hundreds of organizations across the nation that work to “adopt” a child in a third-world nation and then sponsor them for a year, five years, or life. Anyone willing to donate is capable of being the financial source of a child’s meals, education, clothing and more. Blake Adkins, the club’s Personal Relations Officer, commented, “I like GCH because it’s one club at our school where we can make an impact thousands of miles away instead of just in our immediate community.”

gch board

GCH 2018-19 club officers in front of the information board in room 711. Photo Courtesy of GCH Twitter page

GCH began their partnership with Child Fund International at the end of the 2017-18 school year. Through this organization WHS students have adopted a young boy named Osmar who lives in El Alto, Bolivia. Osmar is 5 years old, which means he has his whole life ahead of him. GCH plans to continue to sponsor Osmar and watch him grow as long as the club is financially able.

osmar

Osmar, the child in Bolivia that GCH sponsors. Photo Courtesy of GCH Twitter page

In El Alto, most of the population has moved in from other rural areas seeking to make money by working with the international airport nearby. “Families here survive on about $170 a month from handcrafts, trucking, domestic labor or pretty trade,” stated Child Fund. Most families live in small homes made from bricks or mud with tin roofs. Indoor plumbing as known in the US is a luxury in this region of the world.

When it comes to meals, Child Fund explains that “rice or corn meal, serve with lettuce, tomatoes, port or beef” are the most common. Fruit such as bananas, apples and oranges are enjoyed by children like Osmar as well.

Besides basic necessities, the money that GCH sends for Osmar also covers school supplies and some medical expenses. While these small contributions won’t change the whole world or rid it of poverty, there’s something about knowing Osmar’s world has been changed that makes this club so special.

el alto

El Alto, Bolivia, where Osmar lives. Photo Courtesy of Royalty-free Photos

In addition to sponsoring Osmar, GCH works to raise awareness for other issues in third-world countries such as the lack of clean water. At one of their club meetings, the members watched an informative video about how in many places in Africa people have to walk miles to get water, and even then the water is not clean.

In the beginning of 2018 GCH planned a day where members of the club would sit in the cafeteria with free water bottles, however there was a catch. Students had to walk up and down the hallway outside the cafeteria multiple times before being allowed to take the bottle. Even then, they were asked to read the labels on the bottles. Each label listed out a number of diseases that might be in the water. This allowed for the club member running the table to share about the lack of clean water and invite students to be a part of a global change through the club.

water bottles

Water bottles used in an event to raise awareness for the lack of access to clean water in many third-world countries. Photo Courtesy of GCH Twitter page

On Jan. 29, GCH will also be hosting a trivia night in the WHS Media Center from 5-7 pm in an effort to raise more funds for the club. The trivia night coupled with the annual pancake breakfast creates a form of income for the club to set aside and save. The ultimate goal is to not only support Osmar, but to have the funds to support multiple children around the globe.

applebees pancake fundraiser

2017 Flapjack fundraiser at Applebee’s to raise money for sponsoring Osmar. Photo Courtesy of GCH Twitter page

There are so many ways for students to get involved in the community and around the globe, but having a club like Giving Children Hope readily available every school day makes getting involved so much easier. Adkins encourages students to join this club because “it’s really rewarding when we get letters in the mail from Osmar. It’s great to see that we can make an impact on a young child’s life.”

For more information on Osmar, about the club or how to get involved, check out Giving Children Hope’s social media pages:

Instagram: @whs.givingchildrenhope

Twitter: @WHSGCH

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