Watch the video of their amazing story below.

In a world often overshadowed by negativity and despair, a group of young students from Eisenhower Elementary in Garden Grove, California, proved that age is just a number when it comes to making a difference. What started as a simple school project quickly transformed into a heartwarming journey that touched lives and impacted communities far beyond their own. This is the story of how these remarkable children empowered themselves and others through their actions.

It all began when the students stumbled upon a news segment on CNN 10, highlighting the plight of Ukrainian children. Deeply moved by what they saw, the kids decided to take action. Their teacher, Kim Cox, facilitated their enthusiasm by teaching them about vetting organizations and the importance of addressing scams. Little did they know that this project would soon bring their community together in ways they could never have imagined.

“Seeing them want to write for a purpose, do math for a purpose, it brought us all together as a community.”

– Kim Cox, 5th-Grade Teacher, Eisenhower Elementary, Garden Grove, CA.

With plastic bins placed in classrooms and a flag symbolizing hope, the students embarked on a three-week collection campaign. They eagerly counted change, learning valuable math skills in the process, and created a blog to spread awareness. Their families, despite facing their own challenges, showed remarkable generosity, understanding the greater need.

The impact of this project extended beyond monetary contributions. The students, most of whom came from high-risk, low socioeconomic backgrounds, discovered the power of their own voices. They saw how their actions could make a positive difference in the lives of others, particularly those less fortunate. The project integrated various subjects and served as a platform for socio-emotional development, bridging the learning gap caused by the pandemic.

As the weeks passed, the children’s excitement grew. Assigned classrooms for collection duties, they eagerly carried out their responsibilities, becoming more aware of the world beyond their own neighborhood. They watched video clips of the Ukrainian children they were helping and were inspired by the resilience of their counterparts.

One remarkable aspect of the project was the unexpected acts of kindness encountered along the way. Every time Kim visited the credit union to deposit the collected funds, something special would happen. On one occasion, a woman overheard their conversation and, moved to tears, handed Kim a generous donation. These small gestures of compassion further reinforced the children’s belief in the power of their purpose.

“They have a voice. They can make a difference. They may be 10, but they raised $1,700 in three weeks and you do a little and it makes a big impact.”

– Kim Cox, 5th-Grade Teacher, Eisenhower Elementary, Garden Grove, CA.

The project not only helped to transform lives of the Ukrainian children in our care, but also had a profound impact on the students themselves. Through their collective efforts, they raised an astounding $1,698.00, exceeding their initial goal. They learned that their age did not limit their ability to effect change. Their involvement in the project fostered a sense of empowerment, showing them that even small contributions can have a tremendous impact.

In the end, this school project proved to be a transformative experience for the students, their families, and the entire community. It showed that when young minds come together with a shared purpose, incredible things can happen. These students became ambassadors of hope, proving that age is never a barrier to making a positive impact on the world.