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Heineman Middle School students teamed up to raise enough money to fund the construction of two wells to serve people in Haiti and South Sudan without reliable access to clean water.

The funds will be donated to the charities Food for the Poor and Water for South Sudan. Heineman Teams 6-1 and 6-2 joined forces to raise a total of $7,750 through a variety of fundraising activities.

The funds will be matched by local entrepreneur and philanthropist Jim Dobbs, providing enough funding for the wells.

Food for the Poor provides food, water, housing, emergency relief and other services to those in desperate need in the Caribbean and Latin America. Mr. Dobbs has been a longtime partner of the organization.

Water for South Sudan was founded by Salva Dut, who was born in a rural village in southwestern Sudan and displaced as a child by the Sudanese Civil War. One of the thousands of “Lost Boys” uprooted by conflict, he spent a decade journeying on foot as a refugee in Ethiopia and Kenya before being given the opportunity to move to the United States. His life and work is chronicled in the award-winning book Long Walk to Water, which students read as part of their literacy curriculum.

Both Heineman and Marlowe Middle Schools have in past years worked to raise funds for the organizations.

“With this donation we will be registered to win a visit from Salva himself or maybe a Skype call,” said Melissa Kasischke, one of the teachers who helped organize the fundraising efforts. “I could not be prouder of these kids. Their immense compassion and charity for others was demonstrated by their excitement and dedication to help those in need. We will be able to get clean water to thousands of people in Haiti as well as give money for wells in South Sudan.”

The teams celebrated their success with a party including delivering shaving-cream pies to the faces of teachers and Principal Jake Litchfield.

Great work to all involved!