When I attended church at on Feb. 2, 2014 I felt very inspired to help the Imagine No Malaria campaign. So I put my faith into action. I decided to bring the campaign to my classroom.
I have been a teacher in Baldwin Park for 26 years at Pleasant View School. I am teaching a wonderful group of third graders this year. I work in a low income neighborhood where many of my students must deal with various hardships themselves such as divorce, unemployment, compromised living conditions, or a parent in jail amongst other challenges. But I wanted to educate my students about hardships other people and children must endure around the world especially in Africa.
My students were saddened and moved to learn of the tragedies associated with Malaria. After sending a letter to parents about my plan the money started to come in: a bag of change here and a dollar there. After the first week I had collected $12.94.
During the next week money continued to trickle in until one day my beautiful student named Mariah donated over $20.00 in birthday and allowance money. Well, as you can imagine I was astounded at her generosity as tears welled up in my eyes. I thanked her immensely and gave her a hug as was my usual practice every time one of my students donated money to the No Malaria jar.
I have been collecting since then and counted the money today. I thought perhaps it was about $50.00. I was pleased to learn that my students and I have collected a total of $72 dollars and thirteen cents! I am happy that my students have been so charitable in their giving. Everyone has the ability to give especially sweet compassionate young children. I will continue to collect money for the remainder of the year.
Malaria is a horrible disease but if we all continue work perhaps we can put an end to the death and suffering from malaria. At least my students and I think so.
Nancy Elrod is a member of Pasadena First United Methodist Church in Pasadena, CA