Two of the school’s most popular clubs have joined forces in order to take on a world changing project. This school year, One Dollar for Life (ODFL) and Key Club have partnered to tackle the Eliminate Project spearheaded by the global organization UNICEF. Starting Monday, October 6, ODFL and Key Club will distribute fundraising boxes to all classes. Collection will run through Friday, October 10.
Since ODFL’s beginning at the school in 2007, the club has completed 54 different structural projects in communities throughout the developing world. While ODFL works on smaller projects, Key Club International and Kiwanis (Key Club’s parent organization) usually partner with other organizations to collaborate on larger projects. These partner organizations include March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle and UNICEF. UNICEF’s main focus is on helping children in the developing world. Key Clubs donate their time and money to assist in fundraising for these organizations’ causes.
This new project on which ODFL, Key Club and UNICEF are working together is called the Eliminate Project. The goal of the Eliminate Project, Kiwanis’ global campaign for children, is to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) from the world by 2015 by raising 110 million dollars. The money raised by both clubs from the drive in October will go to UNICEF in order to help eliminate MNT.
Earlier this month, on Wednesday, September 17, Key Club International announced that ODFL’s tool kit for fundraising was available to all 5,000 Key Clubs across the country. The tool kit includes instructions for creating a fundraiser just like ODFL’s. This money will go to UNICEF, which will put the money raised by the clubs towards the cost of immunizations.
“Since 2000, we have completely eradicated this disease from 34 countries in the world, the most recent being Madagascar during June of 2014,” Key Club president senior Sean Nguyen said. “There are 24 more countries left and we need the entire school’s help to make this drive more successful than any other.”
Together, the three organizations hope to eliminate this disease from these last 24 countries. The only way to do this is to get the MNT immunization shots, which cost $1.80 each, to the people in these third world countries.
ODFL’s role in all of this is helping with the fundraising. The difference between a Key Club fundraiser and an ODFL fundraiser is the size of the audience. Usually, Key Clubs do not extend outside of their own members to obtain money, while ODFL tries to reach out to as many people as possible.
“Our method is [that] the Key Club becomes the agent within the school that offers fundraisers to the whole school,” ODFL founder Robert Freeman said. “So instead of them having 40 people contributing, they have 1,900. That’s the magic.”
During the spring of 2014,KeyClub International did a trial run using the ODFL method and were blown away by the results that they received. “Schools that were using the ODFL method were raising 70 times the amount of money over schools that weren’t,” Freeman said. “It’s a pretty eye-opening event.’”
Together, ODFL and Key Club at Los Altos have pledged to raise $5,000 for the cause.
“I think that if Los Altos is able to make their goal of $5,000, that’s going to make an incredible example for other Key Clubs [who are running] the fundraiser this year,” science teacher and ODFL advisor Lisa Cardellini said.
The goal for the organizations is that by the end of 2015, they will have raised the target amount of $110 million. However, the collaboration between Key Club and ODFL will not end there.
“We expect that Key Club will convert into helping ODFL with their traditional projects,” Freeman said. “We will then have 5,000 high schools raising money to build schools in the developing world. That’s the vision.”
The Eliminate Project is larger than any other project ODFL and Key Club has undertaken before. However, Freeman is sure that they will succeed.
“It’s just one dollar,” Freeman said. “Our belief is that anybody can afford a dollar. If we do [the smallest bit]then…we are going to eliminate a terrible scourge that has been with mankind since Adam and Eve.”