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Dylan, Rae, and Eva
A Passion Project with a Global Impact

March 12, 2020

Inspired by media coverage of recent fires in Australia, Eva, Rae, and Dylan at Thorpe Creek Elementary initiated a passion project to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund this January. “When we found out about the Australia bushfires, we wanted to take helpful action,” said Rae. In just a week, the girls raised over $1000 to go towards saving animals from the bushfires.

With the help of their teacher, these fourth-grade students took about four weeks before the fundraiser to research the wildfires in Australia and plan their approach. Then, during the week-long event, they created and hung flyers around the building and delivered statements for their school announcements and their classroom podcast. “The school thinks the passion project was only a week, but for us it has been basically two months,” said Eva. Students and staff were eligible to donate any amount to the WWF, and on the last day of the fundraiser, all Thorpe Creek students were able to bring in stuffed animals for the school day.

While they expected to raise little over $100, the fundraising total ended up being $1,083.72. “It was a big, huge surprise with how much we raised,” said Dylan. “We thought we would only get 50 or 60 dollars, but we raised more and we were surprised. Our minds were blown.” By Wednesday, the donations only totaled $150. On the last two days of the fundraiser, donations flooded in, summing to more than $1000.

Besides signifying a lifetime accomplishment, the project gave these students a platform through which to practice life skills - independently planning and promoting the fundraiser was a chance to learn organizational, leadership and public speaking skills. Eva, Rae, and Dylan even received personal letters from Mayor Fadness congratulating them on their success.

When the three girls first brainstormed the topic, their main focus was on a small-scale passion project. The hard work they put into their design and the contributions of the community proved that any idea can become something more, they said. “We just figured that just three kids can do anything. Three kids can change the world.”
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