imagine a world without third world problems

amazing 3rd graders


On Friday, Jace and I visited Murray Elementary School where 3rd graders have been busy saving lives. Going into the school, we thought that one third grade class had been raising money for mosquito nets and that they had raised about 40 dollars. We were excited to get to meet this class that was joining PfP in the fight against malaria, but things were not as we thought and when we arrived we were so blown away we were speechless.


We walked in to see a big banner welcoming PfP. We quickly found out that the entire 3rd grade was participating and was waiting for us in the cafeteria. As we walked in, the excitement shifted from the pizza and corn, which looked delicious, to the anticipation of what was going to happen next. One of the teachers began to talk about how she has known Jace since he was in middle school, then on to a little info on PfP, and then she began to explain how hard the classes have been working to raise money to fight malaria, and then presented us with a check for 750 dollars! Yes, $750, 100 3rd graders who do not attend a wealthy school, but with an obvious heart to help others. I was shocked, these 8 and 9 year olds were so excited to give us that check that they had been working so hard. As I looked around the cafeteria, you could see the pride they had in giving that check, they knew that it was a symbol of their work to save kids just like them. They took this project seriously, they were on a mission to change and save lives. They raised money in various ways, some even gave their allowances to give to kids they had never met. They just knew kids were dying or sick and needed their help so they did something about it. They did not complain about the sacrifices they were making for others or that it meant they didn't get to keep their money, but after reading the letters they wrote to us, many wanted to give more, but had given all they had. If only adults would grasp the same concept, but we over think and cause a simple solution to become so difficult. We come up with excuses, committees, plans, and arguments which delay the solution and eventually pushing it back under the rug, to the back of our mind, and back out of our hearts, and nothing is accomplished but talk. Unlike this, these 3rd graders ran with excitement towards the solution, holding onto the feelings they experienced when first hearing about the needy and dying children in Benin. It didn't matter to them that they had never met the kids in Benin, that they didn't have much money, or that malaria is a huge problem, but what they saw was that they could save some, that they would give whatever they could, and that everyone deserves to live a healthy life.

Not only did they raise money, but they wrote letters, painted pictures, and made a banner for the kids in Benin. Phrases like "Best Buds", "Friends" and pictures of kids holding hands littered the pictures they created. This was a personal project for these 3rd graders. Every one of them will remember the malaria project they did in the 3rd grade, but for some this was a turning point in their life. For the first time they were given the opportunity to reach beyond Murray, Kentucky and touch lives some where else. This will be a point in their life that they reference years later as the first time of many that they reached out and helped someone else in need. That is exciting to me.

This had to be one of my favorite moments with PfP, I was so humbled and in awe of the passion, drive, and excitement in these 3rd graders. They have challenged me and I hope that they challenge you to do something because something can help someone. Thanks to the teachers at MES, you guys are awesome and are shaping these young children into change agents.