Hearts Helping Haiti 

Eberhart Elementary students sell keepsakes and raise more than $3,000 for earthquake survivors in Haiti.

February 16, 2010

When Eberhart Elementary students learned about the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, they wanted to do all they could to help.


So when two students came up with a unique fundraising idea that combined creativity and innovation, with three very important core subjects (reading, writing and arithmetic), their teacher responded with an emphatic “yes!”


“Some of my students came to me and asked if I was going to run a fundraiser for Haiti,” said Kathleen Daigler, an eighth grade teacher at Eberhart Elementary School, 3400 W. 65th Place. “My response was, ‘We sure are and you are going to help.’ I wanted to seize the opportunity to get students involved in some positive behavior.”


After a weekend of planning, the students got their idea approved by Eberhart Principal Nneka Gunn, and the rest was history. The Hearts Helping Haiti program was born.


The plan

Eberhart eighth grade students, Celina and Luis, devised a plan to help Haiti survivors while uniting their school for a cause at the same time. The plan was simple: A group of students would make hearts that would then be sold to other students and staff for $1 each.


Next, Celina and Luis had to develop the look and feel of their special heart. The students first designed a logo, and cut out pink and red hearts with a special feature. White yarn was pulled through a hole at the top of each heart so that students and staff could wear the hearts around their necks, showcasing their giving spirit for everyone to see.


The production

Students came in before school and stayed after school to make hearts each day. The eighth graders set up a production assembly line to make approximately 750 hearts to sell.


“One Friday afternoon we had 70 eighth graders stay after school to make hearts,” Daigler said. “These eighth graders were from seven different classrooms.”


The sales force

Once the hearts were created, the next thing the eighth graders had to do was sell, sell, sell. Students were assigned three or four rooms to sell hearts to. At the beginning of the week, students visited each of their assigned classrooms to explain the project to their fellow students and staff. Posters were hung throughout the hallways and flyers were also sent home. Each homeroom teacher collected the money raised.


“This project proved to be a very opportune time to try and explain some basic economics. I was able to use the project as an example of entrepreneurship,” Daigler said. “The project allowed me to introduce concepts of capital, overhead, supply and demand, production using an assembly line, advertising, and eventually bring in the idea of expanding by selling shares.”


Daigler said students also improved their writing and scientific understanding of earthquakes.


Raising money for a great cause

After the first four days, students raised more than $1,300. To date, the school has raised more than $3,000 to donate to the American Red Cross.


“Probably the most important idea students learned from this project was that they can make a difference by working together,” Daigler said.


Learn more about Eberhart Elementary School.



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Article written by C. Payton.