Sister Schools: Opening Eyes and Changing Lives

Sister Schools: Opening Eyes and Changing Lives

Sister Schools is a unique nonprofit organization with education and connection at the heart of its mission. Since 1989, Sister Schools has been making an impact in the lives of schoolchildren across the globe. 

The mission of Sister Schools is to provide much-needed school supplies to students in Uganda. Through the generous donations of elementary school children in the Seattle, Wash. area, they are able to make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most.

From pencils and paper to textbooks, calculators, and other educational materials, these donations will go a long way in helping students in Uganda succeed. By creating a bridge between two cultures separated by thousands of miles, Sister Schools hopes to foster understanding and build relationships between children from all walks of life. 

But the benefits of the Sister Schools program don’t end there. What makes this nonprofit stand out is that it emphasizes education and community engagement for children on both ends of the globe. 

After their donations are given to children in Uganda, the students in Washington get to see pictures of the supplies they collected in the hands of children in need. They get to see their gifts making a tangible difference in the lives of schoolchildren like them — children they’ve never even met. 

Sister Schools changes the lives of so many children — not just by enabling Ugandan students to go to school but by raising up a generation of compassionate people who are eager to make a difference.

In their two-year program, Sister Schools partners with elementary schools to educate children about the need in Uganda and inspire them to help make a real and lasting change. In the first year, Sister Schools provides a presentation for elementary students. This presentation goes over the current situation in Uganda and emphasizes how tragedy has shaped the needs of this nation. 

Students are asked to envision what it would be like to live as these Ugandan children, with limited seating for school, little-to-no school supplies, and long walks to reach schoolhouses every day. Students are encouraged to participate in a supply drive, gathering books, paper, writing materials along with jump ropes and other toys for recess. Any and all scholastic materials — even clothes — are welcome!

After two weeks, Sister Schools returns and collects the items, taking pictures of each child with their donations and sorting, boxing, and labeling items to track the exact path of the donations —  from the hands of one school child to another. 

By the following spring, the donations have reached Uganda, and Sister School distributes the items to children in need. They meticulously photograph the donations in the hands of Ugandan students, showing these pictures to the children in Washington in a Return Presentation at the end of the school year. 

These students get to see the direct impact of their donations. They get to experience the joy and excitement on the faces of the Ugandan students as they proudly hold up their new notebooks, colored pencils, and other school items. 

In the second year of the program, Sister Schools calls upon the students to meet another, more specific need. Ugandan day students often must walk hours to school each day, bringing at least a pencil and paper. If they don’t bring supplies, they are often sent home until they get those materials. If the school or the family cannot afford the minimum supplies, these children usually don’t return to school. 

Students are invited to participate in another supply drive, focusing on gathering four items to fill backpacks: pencils, crayons, composition books, and early readers. They are also asked to raise funds to purchase the backpacks from a local Ugandan company, supporting the country even further. 

Schools can decide what type of fundraiser they will host, and students are welcome to give any supplies they can — just as they did in year one. This program aims to show students that they can always plant the seed of hope in someone else’s life and that the smallest act of kindness can mean the world to someone in need.

Through their programs, they instill social awareness and educate children, teaching them the joys of giving and encouraging them to find new ways to serve in their own communities. 

Along with school supplies from local elementary school fundraising drives, Sister Schools puts on charitable events throughout the year to raise funds to support a growing network of libraries and resource centers across Uganda. 

To raise money for their cause and put on a fundraising event, Sister Schools turned to MaxGiving. With our comprehensive fundraising software, this organization hosted an auction that brought in important donations to help get school supplies into the hands of Ugandan children.

They hosted an in-person dinner gala utilizing mobile bidding, allowing supporters throughout the community and around the world to interact and bid on items to support their cause. With MaxGiving, they were able to track guests, auction items, and monitor bids seamlessly, creating a stress-free event and a successful fundraiser. 

Sister Schools put on an incredible fundraising event that raised essential donations to help fund the shipment of items to Uganda, support supply drives, cover presentation expenses, and continue funding their important mission.

To learn more and find out how you can contribute, visit the Sister Schools website here.

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