Members of the UNICEF Club at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School (PWHS) recently held its first Pancake Breakfast fundraiser in support of Kid Power Month — one of many events coordinated by the group to raise money and awareness for needy children around the globe.
"Our UNICEF Club members set up a full-service Pancake Bar, serving up all kinds of fun shapes, sizes and flavors. We had fruity flapjacks, hearts, chocolate lovers' hotcakes, snowmen and even a snake," said Katy Geare, faculty sponsor of the club. "We had three griddles going all morning."
The event raised $600 to help UNICEF provide lifesaving nutrition, in the form of packets of ready-to-use therapeutic food, to severely malnourished kids in need. Kid Power Month is just one of the initiatives that the international organization coordinates in order to help raise funds and awareness for its mission to help children around the world who are seeking safe shelter, nutrition, protection from disaster and conflicts, and equality.
How the UNICEF Club garners support
In its first two years, the PWHS UNICEF Club has raised thousands of dollars for the cause through events like the Pancake Breakfast fundraiser, bake sales and Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF.
"Our fundraisers have been widely successful in not only raising money, but spreading the word about UNICEF and what they are," said Niki Tier and Olivia Mattioni, sophomores at PWHS and organizers of the event. "The Pancake Fundraiser was a huge success and hopefully educated some people about issues around the world."
Some of the topics that the club has addressed include human trafficking, AIDS awareness, tetanus and women's rights. The group also hosted a viewing of a documentary about Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and activist for female education.
One of the newer clubs at PWHS
Sophomore Justin Adler founded the club last year.
"UNICEF has always remained close to my heart as long as I can remember. I was always very aware growing up of the privilege I had of living in a safe area with a wonderful school system, so it was just natural for me to want to help those that did not have so much luck," said PWHS Sophomore Justin Adler. "As a club, we have big dreams for the future and will try our best to create a world where every child has access to education and is not at risk for preventable diseases, famine or other injustices."
"These kids are motivated and compelled by their strong moral compasses," added Mrs. Geare. "It's really encouraging and inspiring to watch them advocate for children who desperately need our help."
Next year, the group plans to participate in UNICEF's Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., where they will learn from keynote speakers and collaborate with other high school UNICEF chapters.