Mize students use feast to help others
Best friends Morgan Darter and Samuel Seidl both love animals and hope to be veterinarians one day, so it was no surprise when they suggested the same charity benefit from the Mize Elementary School fourth-graders' Charity Feast.
"We both brought in the same magazine," Morgan said. "I was going over to show it to Samuel, and he was bringing it over to me and I was like, 'Oh.'"
Mize fourth-graders, with the help of their parents, brought in different items last Thursday to have a Thanksgiving meal. Parents, grandparents and teachers were invited to the dinner and paid $3 each with the proceeds going to the fourth-graders' chosen charity, Heifer International. The charity attempts to help end world hunger by providing livestock to regions in order to help people obtain a sustainable source of food and income.
"I just really liked it because different animals can do so many different things, and it can help a lot of people," Morgan said. "Say they give a goat to someone in Africa. That goat could have babies, and they could sell the babies to get a lot of money. They could drink the milk to make them healthy."
Samuel said the money raised would be used to purchase an animal like a goat, a water buffalo, chickens or bees. Which animal they get depends on how much money they raise, he said.
Fourth-grade teacher Holly Schreiber said Thursday's feast raised about $300 for charity.
"That could buy two goats. I'm for sure on that," Samuel said.
Morgan and Samuel aren't new to Heifer International. The De Soto residents raised money for the charity once before during a reading incentive program as first-graders at Mize.
They also had their own individual experiences with the program. Morgan said her church, Grace United Methodist Church, had raised money for Heifer International. Samuel's family had experience helping the organization.
"His grandparents for a Christmas present to all the grandkids bought a flock of geese," said Bridget Seidl, Samuel's mom.
After suggesting their idea to the rest of the fourth-graders, Morgan and Samuel passed their magazines around for their classmates to see.
"They kept saying it was really cool," Samuel said.
This was the school's first year to have a fourth-grade charity feast, Schreiber said. Students at Schreiber's previous school had a similar tradition, so she thought it might catch on in Mize as well.
About 170 people were fed at Thursday's feast, which was more than Schreiber expected.
"We have a really good turnout and the staff are being really supportive," she said Thursday.
Morgan's mom, Stephanie Darter, and Seidl said although they too are close friends, they didn't know both of their children were suggesting Heifer International as the charity.
"They have such similar interests that it didn't really surprise me," Darter said. "They're both pretty caring kids.
"It's not just a focus on them. It's about doing something for someone else."