By Lizzie Wilcox
A leadership club at an East Northport school raised more than $5,000 towards building a water well in South Sudan, Africa.
The Trinity Leadership Corps, a 39-student club at Trinity Regional School, got the idea for the fundraising initiative after reading “A Long Walk to Water,” a nonfiction book that tells the story of two kids who can’t go to school because they spend the day walking to get water.
After that, club members started to raise awareness by making a video explaining the cause that was shown throughout the school. The video was made with the help of Kevin Hansen, a club moderator.
In part, the club raised money by selling aluminum water bottles featuring the school’s logo. Hansen said that the fundraiser was effective on multiple levels. He said it raised money for the cause, reduced the school’s plastic bottle waste and sent the message that water isn’t readily accessible to everyone.
Kate Renz, another club moderator, said the school also had dress down days and a World Series doughnut fundraiser, in which club members sold New York Mets-colored doughnuts during lunch time as the Mets competed in the World Series last November.
“It was a great effort from the entire school community,” Hansen said.
The water well was built this past May by Water For South Sudan, a nonprofit founded by Salva Dut, whose story is told in “A Long Walk to Water.”
The well is located in Wau, South Sudan at a soccer field near where teams come together to play in the once war-torn region.
“Their enthusiasm was unfaltering, and their vision of the world was much broader after all of this,” Renz said.
Giuliana Black, 14, was a member of the TLC club this past school year. She recalled being extremely happy and excited when she saw that the well had been built.
“I wanted to join [TLC] because I wanted to do things to help raise money for our community and our school,” Black said.
In another initiative, TLC club members also planted flowers and crops in the prayer garden at Trinity Regional School, which is located on 5th Ave., just off of Larkfield Road. Renz said the garden was in disarray, so the club cultivated it and planted lettuce and tomatoes. Once the food had grown, club members made a salad and donated it to Project Hope in Huntington Station.
“They really have taken on the greater good and they know what it means because they’re living it,” Renz said. “It’s heartwarming.”