A fundraiser in support of the organization Hope for Human Rights was held from Tuesday, March 30 to Wednesday, March 31, organized and led by juniors Charlotte Mandell and Olivia Reynolds, and freshman Maggie Poulin.
Hope for Human Rights was founded by Charlotte’s friend Maya Palanki, a junior at Conard High School. This organization was created with the goal of helping charities that have been struggling financially due to the pandemic. It is a cooperative fundraising event with eight schools from Connecticut, which include KO, Hall, Conard, and Simsbury High School.
Each school is holding its own unique event to raise money for Hands on Hartford, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund, and Center for Children’s Advocacy. KO chose to hold a raffle, and the prizes included a parking spot, free lunch card, gift cards to various stores in the center (such as Bartaco and Donut Crazy), and many more.
A table was set up in Roberts lobby to sell raffle tickets for 50 cents each. There were buckets arranged on the table for the students to choose which prizes they entered to win. “We thought this would be a fun way to collect donations while also still rewarding the community members during these tough times,” Olivia said.
Maggie, Olivia, and Charlotte each found out about Hope for Human Rights in various ways. “When I first heard of Hope for Human Rights, it was through an Instagram DM,” Maggie said. “Charlotte had asked me if I would be interested in doing a cooperative fundraising program; I chose to get involved so that I could help get money to people who really need it.”
Maggie was interested and decided to attend the first meeting with all of the combined schools. “There were probably about 25 people, and we talked about different ideas, how to ask teachers and administrators for help, and the main goal of the fundraising,” Maggie said. “Charlotte, Olivia, and I started talking about different ideas, and after weeks of planning we ended up deciding to do a raffle with about 15 different prizes,” she said.
Olivia decided to become involved in the initiative because of the great meaning and worth behind the cause. “I chose to help with Hope for Human Rights because I thought Maya’s organization and execution of the idea was very impressive, and I’ve always liked giving back to the community,” Olivia said.
The raffle had an impressive turnout of students from various forms. @wyvernnation and @thekonews_ posted photos from the raffle on their story while it was in progress, which helped to increase the attendance as well. The students were very supportive of the event; they became excited about the variety of prizes that were offered. Some even coordinated with their friends for prizes, such as the Bartaco dinner for two.
In all, $136 was raised towards the fundraiser’s overall goal of $4,000, which has since been surpassed. On April 5, 15 winners were drawn. Overall, the event was very successful and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is so important to support charities that need help.