Poolesville High School Donation Drive Initiative
Recently, the Poolesville High School (PHS) Paper Bridges Chapter implemented an initiative to donate supplies to the Board of Child Care, an organization that takes care of foster children and children with disabilities. Through their chapter’s generous donations, PHS was able to raise over 200 pounds worth of books, games, and other toys. Playing, a fundamental element for promoting early childhood development, allows children to be creative while developing social, emotional, and physical skills. The donations raised by PHS have played a vital part in providing support to vulnerable children.
Due to the implications of COVID-19, necessary supplies have become increasingly difficult for vulnerable youth to obtain, and the PHS Chapter was able to assist in providing vital supplies via a donation drive.
Lizette Miranda, Poolesville Paper Bridges President and Chapter Founder, has been sending boxes of supplies to the Philippines since she was young. "It would be really nice to foster this more locally,” Miranda said while highlighting her chapter’s accomplishments. Although the PHS Chapter was only established this year, the chapter was able to organize a three-week long project where club members set up drop-off boxes and collected items at PHS three days a week.
Although the donation drive was successful with regards to collecting supplies and raising awareness on struggles faced by foster youth and youth with disabilities, there were obstacles along the way. Miranda mentioned that advertising and organizing the drive were some of the main challenges due to social distancing measures and online school as a result of COVID-19.
To combat such challenges, the Poolesville Chapter focused on sharing the chapter’s contact information and gave potential donors the space to ask questions. “Communication was what really got the word out, what got people to donate, and what got people inspired,” Miranda said. Chapter leadership had to plan everything out to make the donation drive successful, including communicating with the school’s principal and Student Government Administration.
Miranda emphasized that the most rewarding part of the initiative was being able to see the members’ passion and determination in making the drive successful. “In these times, spreading joy to individuals’ hearts, especially those who are underserved, is really one of the best things we can do,” she said.
She reiterated that communication was crucial in running a successful donation drive. Maintaining communication with the organization, chapter members, faculty advisors, and the school allowed for a more organized and effective drive.
Other Ways To Get Involved
There are a multitude of ways to help vulnerable children, in addition to donation drives. By staying informed about pressing policy changes regarding foster care centers, people have the opportunity to use their voice to support or refute pressing policy changes through signing petitions, lobbying legislators, and educating others.
Fundraising initiatives are also critical because they help obtain resources needed by vulnerable youth. This can be accomplished by informing friends, family, and the community about the mission. Some creative ways to raise money via a fundraiser include selling items, such as bracelets or stickers, hosting an event at a restaurant, or hosting a charity run/walk. Paper Bridges is currently fundraising to cover shipping costs for delivering masks to foster families. Any donation can make a meaningful impact in someone’s life.
Donations. Image. Personify. Accessed November 17, 2020. https://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/2016/11/14/how-to-get-donations-18-ways.
Ginsburg, Kenneth R. "The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds." American Academy of Pediatrics. Last modified January 2007. Accessed November 11, 2020. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/ 182#:~:text=Play%20allows%20children%20to%20use,important%20to%20healthy%20brain% 20development.&text=It%20is%20through%20play%20that,in%20the%20world%20around%20them.