This year marks the 50th anniversary of former United States President Lyndon B. Johnson’s State of the Union address where he boldly declared a war on poverty.

His New Deal created many welfare programs and provided millions of Americans with a social safety net.  If the U.S. wants to keep this tradition of helping the nation’s less fortunate population, it must continue to instill humanitarian values in our young generations.

Schools can help foster this sense of care and compassion by teaching lessons and engaging students in a variety of techniques that connect them to their communities and the world around them.  Many schools organize various activities that help raise funds that can be donated to worthy causes that combat poverty around the world.

Here are four fundraising ideas of activities one implement in their school so students, teachers, family and friends can join in the battle against poverty:

1. Walk-a-thon The idea here is simple: Organize an event at the school track.  Participants will run or walk a predetermined distance, for example, five kilometers, and sign up sponsors that are willing to pledge money for an agreed upon distance traveled.  The non-competitive nature of this event attracts people from all backgrounds and is a great way to meet community members and raise money for a worthy cause.

2. Penny Wars This contest works great in a high school setting.  For each school class (freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior), set up a container near the school’s cafeteria or other common areas.  Over a predetermined period, say, two weeks, students will dump pennies and other coins into the jars.  The idea is to see which student class can dump the most coins in the jars.  The winning class can receive a day off, can participate in a “fun day” such as wearing pajamas to school or receive a prize or certificate.

3. Car Wash The car wash has become one of the easiest and fun ways to raise money for a worthy cause.  Students can designate certain weekends during the school year or summer to wash their fellow community member’s cars.  In this do-it-yourself car wash, the school can provide soap, water, and towels for students.  Promote the car wash by posting signs throughout the town and have groups of students standing on corners attracting customers.

4. Raffle Attracting various business’s throughout the town to donate prizes for the raffle in exchange for advertising, students can hold a prize raffle by selling tickets to students during lunch breaks.  Proceeds can be donated to a worthy cause of the school’s choice.

Sunny Bhatt

Sources: Scholastic, Brain Child
Photo: Eventish