Watkinson’s Student Foundation, a club formed in the early 2000s, recently ran an outstandingly successful fundraiser to support relief efforts in Ukraine. In just over two weeks time, the private school students and their advisor, Dr. Andy Aavatsmark raised $1130 for World Central Kitchen, a global nonprofit that provides meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. WCK builds resilient food systems with locally led solutions.
Student leader Anika S. ‘22 said, “Student Foundation had been kept up to date on the refugee crisis. The reality of the war feels detached from us. Our experiences with the horrendous things that are happening are all online, then we move on to our regular lives. Seeing social media flooded with horrible images called us to do something. We wanted to find something tangible that would help. But it felt challenging because we are in America and the events are unfolding in Ukraine. World Central Kitchen felt very real to us, not just a black hole for money.”
Dr. Aavatsmark adds, “WCK felt close to home as at the time, former Watkinson parent Jamie McDonald (owner of Bear’s BBQ) was on the frontlines volunteering. Additionally, when we were researching options, we were so impressed by the fact that 85% of donations to WCK are used in the field. Any nonprofit that only has 15% overhead costs has found a great model!”
Our Student Foundation’s Fundraising Goal
Student Foundation’s goal was to raise $1000 and by Friday, April 22 had raised $988, needing just $22 to hit the target. Dr. Aavatsmark decided to pass a hat, a gold sequin covered hat in fact, at that day’s All-School Meeting and raised an additional $142, putting them well past their goal.
Student Foundation runs Watkinson’s annual Turkey Drive, which donates approximately 200 complete Thanksgiving meals to families in need working in collaboration with Hartford United Methodist Church.