The 10 members of the Colton Middle School student council are championing a cause that is important to them and the student body.
Brandon Salsman, one of the CMS teacher/council advisers, said: "The origin of the project began when student council wanted to do a project for Earth Day. The council selected three organizations for the student body to choose from, and the students voted to support charity: water."
Three members of the student council, President Ray Baurer, Vice President Samatha Roberson and sixth-grade representative Audrey Cook, made a poignant and informative fundraising YouTube video, written by Roberson.
"We are raising funds for charity: water, a nonprofit that has reached 19 countries and helped more than 12 million people have access to clean drinking water.
"How many times a day do you push a button or turn on your tap to get clean drinking water? There are 785 million people, or 1 in 10 people in our world, who face the struggle of not having clean water, and now it is our chance to make a difference."
To raise funds, the council wanted to challenge CMS staff in a Kiss a Pig event.
As staff members stepped up and said yes, Baurer said they just started assigning dollar amounts each needed to raise until they got to $300 for school principal, Jesus Ramos.
The student council members did their research on the charity to make sure there was no "scam" involved.
Shared from the charity's website: "When charity: water began, we made a bold promise: 100% of public donations would go directly to fund clean water projects. We'd even pay back credit card fees, meaning if a donor gave $100 with a credit card and we got only $97, we'd make up the $3 and send the full $100 to provide clean water for people in need. Since we treat the clean water projects and operations sides of our business differently — separate purposes, separate fundraising goals, and separate bank accounts, we can guarantee that every public dollar donated helps bring clean water to people in need.
"Since charity: water's inception in 2006, we've received the highest ratings and reviews from every major nonprofit organization that assesses a charity's financial health, accountability, and transparency. Charity: water provides communities with hand-dug or drilled wells, rainwater catchments, gravity-fed systems, piped systems, water purification systems, bio-sand filter, spring protections and latrines.
"But our work doesn't stop when construction ends. We remain committed to monitoring, evaluation and maintenance to ensure that these programs operate sustainably for years to come."
"It is an incredibly moving project and is especially meaningful because of the care that the student council took in making sure each student in the school voted on the cause," council adviser Elise Wilde said. "I would just like to add that this is truly a groundbreaking project for the council because it is the first fundraiser with this large of a global impact. With our charity: water account, we can see exactly where the funds are being allocated. Students will know the impact that they are having."
"We get to follow the money," Baurer said. "We can see what countries our contributions go to and how the money is being used. That was important to us."
The students' video can be viewed on YouTube by searching, "CMS Broadcasting ep 361."
Donations can be made through May 24 at www.charitywater.org/colton-middle-school.
"We will know we made a difference," Roberson said, "and that together we are stronger."
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