Del Mar Heights students raise $2,227 for San Diego Charity

It’s the little things that add up. Through a multitude of small efforts, elementary school students at Del Mar Heights School raised $2,227 in a one-month period for San Diego Chill, a charity that teaches non-competitive ice hockey to children with developmental disabilities.

The effort, spearheaded by the Heights Cares student group, involved every class, with each grade organizing their own fundraiser, said Susanne Chakravarty, a parent who helped organize the project.

Third graders, for example, put on a rummage sale on Saturday, March 25, that netted $820, while kindergarteners, second graders and sixth graders put on bake sales. Fifth graders created coin jars for every classroom and encouraged other students to chip in by doing extra chores and donating their allowances.

“Our students really got into it,” Chakravarty said. “It’s an amazing way for our students to learn to show initiative and take ownership for a cause that matters to them and their community.”

Two years ago, Heights Cares started a new tradition of organizing a school-wide annual fundraiser for a local charity nominated and chosen by students themselves through a “grant” process. Last year, Heights Cares raised $1,150 for Nick’s Picks, a nonprofit that gives hospitalized children backpacks filled with items to help lift young patients’ spirits during their recovery. The amount was matched by the Del Mar Heights PTA, raising the total contribution to $2,300 for Nick’s Picks. This year, the PTA pledged a $1,000 match, lifting the total donation to at least $3,227 for San Diego Chill.

Money was only part of the objective for the Heights Cares fundraiser, however. In addition to raising funds, “our goal is to get our Del Mar Heights students engaged all the way through the process of a fundraising project, from initially proposing and choosing the charity, all the way to doing their own fundraising,” Chakravarty said. “The whole school is involved, and it’s an amazing way for our students to learn to show initiative and take ownership for a cause that matters to them and their community.”

"I didn’t mind waking up early to help with the rummage sale. I worked really hard, and I felt really happy about it, because we were helping kids with special needs have as much fun as we do with our friends." Avalon, Del Mar Heights third grader

“My sister is in kindergarten, and she had a bake sale. So we made some cupcakes and cookies. We sold a lot of them!” -- Riley, Del Mar Heights third grader

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