Outreach Prefect Hannah Hagenau, Class of 2019, is passionate about people. Especially those with whom she has forged a bond, 8,092 miles away in Lusaka, Zambia. This is her story.
Helping Hands Day will be held on Tuesday, September 11, and I was to share a bit about how it is going to be different this year. Before we get into how it’s going to be different, I’m going to tell you why.
Previously, the whole Upper School would do a variety of different projects for several organizations for a couple of hours then not follow up until the next year. As a result, we never really developed relationships with most of the organizations and we don’t give them the kind of long term support they need. Most of y’all probably don’t think that this is a big deal, but to me it is. That’s because of a group of 22 high schoolers in Lusaka, Zambia.
These are the Garden Hill High Schoolers whose tuition I have helped pay for over the last four years. My freshmen year, I was trying to come up with an iProject and happened to go to a meeting at my church where a group of members who had just returned from a mission trip to Zambia were talking about what they had seen. They talked about how our church supported children in the Garden Compound of Lusaka through 7th grade, but didn’t provide the financial support necessary for them to continue their education. It was at this moment I decided that I wanted to raise money to pay for the tuition of the children in need for my iProject. At the end of the year, along with a couple of friends, we raised about $3,000 which was enough to send 16 students to school for a year.
I have continued this project every year since, raising well over $5,000 last year to send 22 students to school. Why have I continued this project? It’s not because it’ll look good on college applications or that it makes me seem like a good person. I do it because I have built relationships with people on the other side of the world. When I visited Zambia I got to meet 17 of the 22 students and I spent time finding out about who they are and who they want to be.
Some of them want to be doctors; some want to be accountants; some want to be pilots; one even wants to be a meteorologist. I got to meet the students who will be starting school this year. These rising 8th graders don’t need tools to build pinewood derby cars, and were so patient when trying to teach me how to hold a simple conversation in Nyanja, their native language. Most importantly I got to meet Steven, my first high school graduate.
I spent a lot of time with him over the course of my three week visit to Zambia and got to know him really well. He wants to become an accountant so that he can earn enough money to move to the United States to become a graphic designer. He is an AMAZING artist and has been using his talents to support his family. I’ve even been able to help Steven find scholarships to go to college.
Building relationships with these people has made an impact on everyone involved. That’s why this year we are going to structure our outreach in a way that would allow all of us to build relationships with some pretty awesome organizations. We want to create more impact and give more support to these organizations, as well as give all of you the opportunity to get involved on a personal level in your outreach.
Tuesday, September 11: Helping Hands Day
Conducting a donation drive and making goodie bags for children served by our partner organization, Los Niños Primero.
Assembling snack packs and hygiene kits for Action Ministries
By Thursday, September 6 please consider dropping off some of these items:
Toothbrush Bags of chips or crackers
Toothpaste Applesauce or fruit cup packs
Body wash Granola or cereal bars
Shampoo Water bottles or juice boxes
Conditioner Gallon size ziplock bags
Lotion Brown sandwich bags
Wet Wipes (small)
*large or travel size hygiene items
Grade 5 – 9:00-12:30 p.m. Serving at Action Ministries
Grade 6 – Poverty Simulations, assembling hygiene kits for Action Ministries, and filling bags of food with Rise Against Hunger
Grades 7 & 8 – 9:00-12:30 p.m. Serving at a variety of nonprofits throughout Sandy Springs and Atlanta
Students in grades 9-12 will attend a nonprofit festival with the nine charities on campus to share their mission (see logos), hearing motivational talks from several nonprofit leaders, and participating in a Rise Against Hunger service project on campus. After Helping Hands Day, Upper School students will select one of the nonprofits to support and serve throughout the school year.
9:00 – 9:50 a.m. & 10:00 – 10:50 a.m.
Nell Benn, Executive Director of Agape Youth & Family Center
Shakura Conoly, VP of Hunger Relief Programs Action Ministries
12:00 – 12:50 p.m. & 1:00 – 1:50 p.m.
Terence Lester, Founder of Love Beyond Walls
Ted Ward, Education Coordinator with Center for Civil & Human Rights
Chad Wright Pittman, Director of Door Atlanta
Participating Organizations in Upper School Nonprofit Festival