HOPE Committee Raises $1,600 for Local Charities

Oak Knoll's HOPE CommitteeUpper School students were busy putting the needs of others before themselves recently as the HOPE Committee (Helping Other People Everywhere) raised more than $1,600 for those in need by organizing a special dress down day and bake sales before the school departed for spring break.

The dress down day and bake sales were organized by the seven-student HOPE Committee club. HOPE, which usually organizes four fundraisers per school year, serves as a clearinghouse for all OKS fundraising, collections, drives and all other monetary requests.

Stephanie Almozara, Upper School Theology Department Chair, Director of Campus Ministry and the HOPE Committee adviser, said that group organizes the students’ requests for fundraisers such that “students can learn how to advocate for worthy causes, plan fundraisers and be empowered to make a difference in the world.”

HOPE Committee Coordinator Tietjen Spoor ’20 said, “I am involved because I have always loved helping people. The HOPE Committee is vital for our community because it educates the girls about the outside world and its sufferings. Many of us at Oak Knoll have been blessed with the life we have been given, and I believe we should use our blessings to help others less fortunate than us.”
During the dress down day, Oak Knoll community members were asked to donate $5 to participate in the fundraiser and all proceeds were donated to the following four charities:

PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) – PANDAS occur when strep triggers a misdirected immune response and results in inflammation on a child’s brain. In turn, the child quickly begins to exhibit life-changing symptoms such as OCD, anxiety, tics, personality changes, the decline in math and handwriting abilities, sensory sensitivities, restrictive eating and more. ​

Amanda Styles Cirelli Foundation/A Smile on a Child’s Face – Provides funding to pediatric cancer research and programs supporting pediatric cancer patients and their families. These organizations host parties or bring toys and games into hospitals for the children and make donations to research centers. The charity was started in honor of Amanda (Mandy) who died at age 29 from cancer. She always had a fierce love for children and her family made this charity to continue her legacy.

St. Peter’s Orphanage – St. Peter’s is an orphanage that helps provide for young boys who were neglected and abandoned as children. The money raised during the fundraiser helps go toward necessities which help improve the lives of the young boys. The orphanage contains specialized care including therapy and more so that the boys grow and become independent in the future.

The American Red Cross – The American Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. They provide shelters, food, and support to victims of disasters. Currently, they are helping those in Puerto Rico after the devastatingly massive earthquake that recently hit the island. The money will go towards rehabilitating and supporting the affected communities on the island.

For more information about Oak Knoll’s HOPE Committee please visit https://www.oakknoll.org/upper-school/student-life/clubs/.

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