April 28, 2022
Baker students making change from 7,500 miles away
When we work together, we make change. At Baker Elementary School, a week-long school-wide coin drive will forever change the lives of children 7,500 miles away.
Baker’s All Wound Up Yo-Yo Club raised a record $7,527 from its coin drive, which was conducted March 21-25, 2022. Each day, students were asked to collect and donate specific denominations: Monday – pennies; Tuesday – nickels; Wednesday – dimes; Thursday – quarters; and Friday – bills.
The donation will aid in the creation of an orphanage for 15 homeless Nepali children in need who were living on the streets of Chepang. Specifically, it helped to acquire the building; purchase a new water tap and updated water system; pay for renovations, bunk beds, bedding, shelves and furnishings; equip a kitchen; build a dinner table; and provide bathing supplies.
The effort was led by Mr. Erik Wiesemann, kindergarten teacher and All Wound Up Yo-Yo Club sponsor.
“Our students have wonderful hearts for helping others,” Mr. Wiesemann said. “They always want to help, but their opportunities are often limited due to their age. The coin drive was a perfect way for the children to make a difference in the lives of other children. They truly rallied around that opportunity and made the most of it.”
Mr. Wiesemann learned of the orphan’s plight through his parents, who are medical missionaries through SEAPC.
“They travel to Nepal with a man by the name of Bill Richardson, who runs Cutting Edge Relief. Cutting Edge Relief works hand-in-hand with a gentleman, Man Dai, to help improve the lives of others in Nepal,” Mr. Wiesemann said. “Man Dai was an orphan as a child, and has given his life to helping others.”
Ms. Kelsey O’Leary’s fourth-grade class collected the most money during the coin drive. With a total of $530.15, the class won a basket filled with yo-yos and other items donated by the YoYoFactory, which has sponsored the Baker club since its inception.
First established in 2012, the All Wound Up Yo-Yo Club is open to Baker’s fourth graders. In addition to learning how to do various yo-yo tricks and maneuvers, the All Wound Up Yo-Yo Club also has a goal of helping others.
“The All Wound Up Yo-Yo Club makes a point of donating to local and global non-profit organizations each year,” Mr. Wiesemann said. “I feel it is important for the children to know that they can make a difference in their own city, but also in the lives of those far away – those that they will likely never even meet.”
In addition to the $7,527 to assist the orphanage, the All Wound Up Yo-Yo Club raised an additional $2,000 that was split evenly between two local organizations – Angels’ Place and Zachary’s Mission. Angels' Place provides single parents who are low-income, full-time students with the help needed to complete their education. Zachary's Mission supports families of medically fragile children by providing basic necessities, financial assistance and programs that nurture emotional well-being.
Fifty-one students participated in the All Wound Up Yo-Yo Club this year. To accommodate the large number of participants, students participated in one of three sessions weekly throughout the five-week club – Monday after school session, Tuesday before school session or Thursday before school.