While most students are preparing to party and get drunk this spring break, these high school students will be traveling to Haiti to give back.
According to online sources:
While most Indiana high schoolers are worried about grades or their social lives, a group of 29 Zionsville High School students are focused on making a difference in the lives of Haitian children.
The ZHS students, in partnership with Pleasant View Elementary School, have started the GreenSneakers Fundraiser, a program that collects used tennis shoes to raise money for the students’ spring break mission trip to Haiti. The 29 high schoolers and seven adults will be traveling with the “I’m In” Haiti 2013 group to Port-au-Prince during spring break to build a sporting complex for underprivileged children in the area.
“The GreenSneakers program was created as a way to offset the cost of the trip for parents and students,” said David Poindexter, executive director of I’m In Coaching Best, an organization that helps foster youth leaders and is helping to plan the Haiti trip. “The high schoolers have challenged the elementary schools to join the cause and create their own fundraisers.” Pleasant View Elementary School’s 70-member Philanthropy Club has accepted the challenge, setting a goal to collect 1,000 pairs of sneakers in February and March. Other area schools have joined in as well – Stone Gate Elementary and Middle Schools are organizing a shoe collection and Union Elementary has collected 1,100 pairs of children’s underwear, one of the most common needs of Haitian children. The “I’m In” Haiti 2013 group earns 50 cents per pound for all tennis shoes collected and close to $1 per pair of shoes. In addition, GreenSneakers cleans and ships the collected shoes to family businesses in Haiti. The two ZHS Haiti trip team leaders, senior Madi Mann and junior Claire Poindexter, recently met with the Pleasant View Elementary Philanthropy Club for training, games and poster making to help the students reach their donation goal.
This is the third year in a row ZHS students have traveled to Haiti for mission work, and each year the group continues to grow larger. Poindexter said the trip was the brainchild of Mann, who traveled to Haiti as an eighth-grader and was impacted by what she saw. Poindexter said that most of the students involved played sports, which led to the idea to build a sporting complex just outside Port-au-Prince, complete with two soccer fields, a volleyball court and a cricket and baseball field.
“Most Haitian children play in the streets, so the sports stadium will have a huge impact on the lives of local children,” Poindexter said. The group partnered with a local Haitian mission that donated two acres of land to their cause, making the building of a complex possible.
God bless their hearts!