The Opening Doors Club, a group of students concerned about the economic struggles of the many young people in the Bay Area, raised more than $1200 for homeless youth at Covenant House California in Oakland during their first annual February fundraiser. This money gives homeless youth direct relief, various educational tools, and other resources to help them graduate high school and live independent lives.
“We wanted to make an immediate impact on homeless people in our own community,” club president Annika Furr said. “By doing something local, we would be more able to see our true impact on the lives of the homeless community.”
In addition to setting up donation boxes in every 4th period classroom, which collected $607, the club also placed a bin outside the main office where students were able to donate clothing, raised 10% of dinner sales at Sixto’s on Valentine’s Day, and sold their “believe in tomorrow” wristbands during lunch for two days.
“The clothing drive has also been extremely successful, and I had to empty the bin three different times! At Sixto’s, we made about $500, which as a club, are extremely proud and grateful for. By selling the wristbands, we have made about $112,” Furr said.
Advisor Annie Miller commends the club for taking steps to deal with social inequality through organizing the fundraiser.
“I am so incredibly impressed with and proud of the Opening Doors Club. The plight of young people who don't have homes is actually one that we deal with at BHS, and it's a topic that hits close to home for me as I know a number of my students and former students who struggle with homelessness. The members of Opening Doors are doing outstanding work raising money for people their age and younger who are homeless and need support to stay in school and stay healthy. This club is one of the most organized and effective I've seen at Burlingame!”
This club has been engaging in helping local homeless youth throughout the year.
“At the beginning of the school year, we brainstormed a list of fundraising ideas as a group at one of our very first meetings,” Furr said.
The multitude of creative ideas led to the creation of the February fundraiser for Covenant House, their 5th fundraiser of the school year.
In the future, the club plans to sell food at the Food Fair in March and volunteer at Covenant House in Oakland or at #HashtagLunchbag event in San Francisco.
Miller hopes that students who want to make a difference in their communities learn from the Opening Doors Club.
“What I love most about the members of this club is that it isn't a ‘resume builder’ for them. It's about finding something you care deeply about and having the courage to do something about it. I think oftentimes today students feel like they have to do so much and fill their schedules with so many activities because it's what they think colleges want. I would say that the opposite is actually much more effective - the students I see who truly enjoy and get the most out of their extracurriculars are ones that focus on the thing that means the most to them and put their heart into it!”