SURREY - A student club at Semiahmoo Secondary school has raised thousands of dollars over the past school year for international and local organizations.
The Globalizers club at Semiahmoo Secondary is made up of more than 50 student members.
The two primary organizations the club supports through its fundraisers are Free the Children and ACCES Kenya.
Two executive members, Grace Kapustianyk and Joanna Huang, spoke to White Rock council recently, sharing the club's successes this school year.
"As a whole, we are demonstrating our passion for international issues through different educational events. The Globalizers are making a change," Kapustianyk said.
Annually, the club holds a Halloween for Hunger campaign. Last Halloween they gathered 1,500 cans of food for the local food bank and raised $900.
Over the Christmas break, some of the club members went to the Downtown Eastside on Dec. 21 to distribute blankets, clothing, scarves, gloves and food, which they raised through a winter drive at their school.
The Globalizers also help out at ATIRA Women's Resource Society's annual Christmas dinner. The club provided gifts for 27 children last Christmas.
This year, the club held its Coins for Kenya event. They raised $1,600 in loose change, which they collected by putting jars in classrooms around the school.
"People donated pennies, dimes, it was such a great event, seeing everyone come together," Huang said. "All the jars were filled up to the top with coins."
But Huang said their most successful fundraiser was the Spread the Net campaign, which they participated in last year. The funds bought nets to prevent the spread of malaria in Africa.
"In total we raised $4,580, which was enough to protect 2,290 children for up to five years," Huang said.
The students are currently organizing the club's annual benefit concert, which will be held some time in April, which features musicians from Semiahmoo Secondary and other music programs. The funds raised go to ACCES Kenya.
Huang said the club began the Adopt-a-Village initiative this year.
"We wanted to leave a legacy for next year by taking on this year-long project. We wanted to support one of the pillars - water, health, education or alternative income - in a village. This year we've decided to focus on water by building a foundation for clean drinking water. Out of all the possible countries we decided to go with China. It is our hope in coming years, each of the pillars will be covered and eventually we will have adopted an entire village," Huang said.
Semiahmoo Secondary principal Bea Hadikin said she feels intensely proud of the students' work.
"I think this is part of this school's culture. It's just part of what we do here, working for the collective good," Hadikin said. "I feel like we're doing good in public education."