7th Grade Students Raise Funds and Awareness for Vermonters Facing Hunger

Students host a raffle to fundraise for their class trip and make a difference in their community. Bonus: the winner gets to redesign their teacher’s beard.

U32 Student Fundraiser

Steve Sheeler, pictured with his barber and new beard

Every year, the 8th grade class at U-32 Middle & High School, Montpelier, VT, goes on a field trip to Washington D.C. To help minimize the cost of the trip, students are expected to fundraise starting when they’re in 7th grade. Many traditional fundraisers are offered throughout the school year, but this past spring one 7th grade TA group decided to do something a little extra.

Steve Sheeler, the Teacher Advisor of the group, explained that his group of nine 7th graders decided to do an additional fundraiser together as a TA that would help towards the ultimate goal of visiting D.C. the following year.

“We had many discussions about different ways to raise money,” says Steve, “but we ultimately landed on a raffle that would not only contribute towards our goals related to the D.C. trip, but also could contribute in a positive way towards our local community. With this in mind, we spent some time researching different non-profit organizations in the area where our fundraiser could make a difference.”

Students in the TA group sold raffle tickets, emphasizing that every $3 donated to the Vermont Foodbank could help provide 5 meals. At the end of the raffle the proceeds were divided in thirds: one third went to the raffle winner, one third to the Vermont Foodbank, and the final third to the student who sold the tickets towards their D.C. fund. And there was an extra incentive for the student who sold the most tickets. “At the time, I had grown a pretty burly mid-winter Vermont beard, and rather than shave it all off at once, I allowed them to design my look for the final day before our February break,” explained Sheeler.

At the conclusion of the fundraiser, the group donated about $80 to the Foodbank, providing more than 130 meals to neighbors in need. The students enjoyed working with each other on the project, and shared that a highlight of the fundraiser was knowing how much food they were helping to provide with the money they raised. Sheeler hopes that this experience will promote more active and involved citizens. We asked the students why they chose to support Vermonters struggling with hunger, and one replied, “So we could help them out. Even if it is not a whole lot, we are still helping.”

Inspired to provide meals for kids, families, and older adults facing hunger? You can start a fundraiser of your own: https://www.vtfoodbank.org/give-time/start-a-fundraiser

September is Hunger Action Month! Check out ways that you can take action in the fight against hunger: https://www.vtfoodbank.org/give-your-voice/ham