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Kiara Downey's Fundraiser:

IS IT COLD IN WISCONSIN?

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Kiara Downey

THE STORY:

This fundraiser is intended to raise money that will go towards the purchase of winter coats. The coats (about 10 in all) will be given to students who are moving to North America from Africa to attend university.

All of these students just graduated from SOS Herman Gmeiner International College (SOS-HGIC) in Tema, Ghana. SOS-HGIC is an outstanding secondary school that selects students from all over the African continent through a series of exams and interviews. Members of the SOS-HGIC community undertake a rigorous curriculum and live at the school for up to four years. The young people who will be receiving these coats were all awarded International Baccalaureate diplomas on July 6, 2012.

These students have been accepted into respected universities from Vancouver, B.C. to New York. They have also earned scholarships that recognize their academic prowess and promise.

Each of them are also members of the SOS Children's Villages Community. This remarkable program is the world's largest children's charity. Created shortly after World War II, the villages welcome orphaned and abandoned children into safe environments where they are raised and educated with other children in need.

I had the privilege of teaching at SOS-HGIC during the 2010/2011 school year. These "kids" were my students, but I can honestly say I learned more than I taught during that year.

I am thrilled to know that these exceptional young people will be coming to North America for college, but I also know that the transitions they will face will be a bit perplexing. As many of us can certainly recall, starting college is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. From grouchy roommates and cryptic professors to beer-goggles and extra-long bed sheets, the whole experience can be an overwhelming series of challenges.

Well, just image adding never-before seen snow and REALLY cold weather to the list! During a recent Facebook chat, one of my former students (who will be attending Ripon College) asked me if it gets cold in Wisconsin...

"Wow," I thought. He has no idea.

So. I would like to provide my former students with some nice jackets to keep them warm as they make their way from dorms to libraries and beyond.

And that is where you come in.

Winter wear is not cheap, but if everyone gives a bit, I think we can get some deserving young people bundled up before winter sets in.

Each coat costs about $200-$300. Whether you give $5 or $300, your donation will be greatly appreciated!

The Team: $0 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

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