The Duncan Banner


February 17, 2012

HOSA gets competitive about funds for Africa

DUNCAN — Red River Technology Center Health Careers students have used coin wars, a banner of hearts and any other opportunities to raise funds to send water filter buckets to Africa.

Those students, with leadership from the RRTC Health Occupations Students of America students, created an in-house fundraiser to purchase the water filter buckets.

The buckets are 5 gallon buckets that can filter contaminated or unclean water. The filters will work for up to 40 years, although each costs $55.

But the students have been working to pay for as many as possible.

“We raised almost $200 in about two weeks,” Destiny Foster, Health Careers student, said.

“We’re saving people’s lives.”

Foster, along with Dylan Phillips and Jasmin Martinez, RRTC HOSA AM president, have been behind the push for the campus to raise funds for the project. And they’ve been getting everyone involved.

The initial idea spawned from an ACT preparation course, taught by Chad Cargill, who talked about the project.

“He kind of motivated us to do it,” Martinez said. “We thought we would see if we could help. We just jumped in and got started.”

The ACT prep course was Jan. 23, and the students started working on the project a week later.

The students’ biggest fundraiser was coin wars, where different classes at the technology center competed against one another. In the competition, students would add money to a gallon jug to see which class can raise the most money. The most successful class was promised doughnuts.

The welding class was among the most successful coin war players.

Brock Gandy, a welding student, said the doughnuts might have made a good incentive for some people, but the cause is what stirred the students into motion.

“It’s pretty neat because I’ll be going on a mission trip to Africa,” Gandy said. “I’m going with our church (Crossbrand Cowboy Church in Waurika). I’ve been wanting to go for a while.”

Gandy was among the welding students who donated spare change when he could, but said sometimes the students donated more than just coins.

“I’m always wanting to help others,” Gandy said. “Water filters in Africa would be amazing. They would see what we have here. Running water isn’t just a common thing over there.”

Martinez said the various classes have been competitive in raising funds. And that competitive edge has made the project even more fun for everyone involved. She said the other Health Careers students were excited about the project when they were initially told about it.

“They’re really helping us out,” Martinez said.

The students raised funds by selling paper hearts to hang on a banner with the theme “Save a Heart, Buy a Heart.”

With their fundraising efforts coming to a close, the students were glad to help others. They’re almost ready to purchase the filters. It’s only a matter of time.

“We’ll get just a many as we can,” Phillips said.

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