When the passionate students of West Islip High School heard about Thirst Project, they decided that our well-building mission deserved more than just a one-time donation, and they formed a chapter. In just 9 weeks since their launch, the West Islip Thirst Project group has raised a whopping $3,500!
Advisor Paola Nilsen introduced the kids to Thirst Project using a video made by Pauley Perrette, star of “NCIS” and one of our dedicated celebrities. With only two days notice, 30 students showed up to the first meeting and set a goal: to raise $5,000 and fund a well.
“After being to El Salvador with my church and seeing how much this can affect people, I wanted to do something to help,” says 18-year-old Tara Davidson. Fellow student Brenda Murphy says she “had just finished a unit on conservationism… I felt inspired to help people without clean drinking water.”
How have 30 students managed to raise so much money in just over two months? Some strategies were elaborate, like their recent basketball game and fundraiser which raised $450 dollars. Other methods were simple but effective, like collecting spare change at the end of each day.
For their most successful campaign, the chapter made paper water droplets and sold them at school. Then other students could hang them in the central lobby and feel good about their donation to the cause. “We had to keep printing more and more water drops… Everyone’s really willing to help out however they can,” says Joseph Priolo, 17.
Despite the fact that there are many people who don’t realize how easy (and fun!) it can be to help others, the WI students insist that “there’s also a huge amount of kids who are caring, and want to do everything possible to help people.”
Check out the photos above to see these rock stars in action! Also follow them on Twitter @WIThirstProject and find them on Facebook. Thanks to the West Islip students for supporting our cause — water is a human right and they have seriously helped us fight!