By Devlin Smith
This Sunday, May 11th, 11-year-old Sam DeFabrizio is taking a 10-mile hike to raise money for African Well Fund. As part of a project in his sixth grade class at Old Turnpike School in Tewksbury, N.J., Sam is working to change the world and hopes to raise $1,000 for AWF in the process.
Sam’s hike will begin at the Old Califon Train Station in Califon, N.J. at 9 a.m. on Mother’s Day. He will be walking the Columbia Trail five miles to Main St. in High Bridge, N.J. and back to the train station. Other hikers are welcomed to join Sam for all or part of the trek, and sponsorships are still being accepted. Contact Joy DeFabrizio, Sam’s mother, if you’d like to get involved.
Sam answered a few questions about his fundraising efforts and what kind of impact it’s had on his life.
What’s involved in the Change the World project at your school?
It is a social studies project that we were given in the beginning of the year. The idea is to do something that in some way will “Change the World” or make it a better place. We needed to write a proposal and then, during the year, make it real.
How did you decide to focus on water for this project?
I originally wanted to do something to help fight hunger. I decided to focus on water when I found out that safe drinking water is one of the most needed things in Africa and how many people each year die from drinking the water.
How did you learn about African Well Fund and why did you think AWF would be a good match for your project?
I learned about AWF by looking for a site that gave the most money to the actual construction of the well. AWF was the best.
What are some of the ways you’ve been raising money for AWF?
I have been selling original watercolor cards and this Sunday, I am doing a 10-mile hike.
Can you describe the watercolor cards you’ve been selling? Who designed the cards? What do they look like and say?
The watercolor cards are made mostly by my mom and me. My dad and two of my parents’ friends also made a few. We just sat down and had a good time. They take a while to do, so people helping me was great. On the back, it says where the money from the card is going, which for most people who bought the cards was the important part. Most of them are a collage of colors. We called it “The Art of Giving.” We raised $150 from it.
Can you tell me about the hike you’re planning? Why did you think a hike would be a good idea for a fundraiser?
I got this idea from the AWF web site and thought, ” I can do this” and it is working wonderfully. It’s one thing to go up and ask people for money, it’s another if you’re willing to do something special for the money. It made me feel better about asking.
What kind of response have you gotten from your teachers, friends and family to your work for AWF?
My family, my mom, dad and grandma are telling everyone, even people I don’t know, and they are all responding positively. [The PTA at Sam’s school is also spreading the word on his fundraising hike and friends’ parents have made donations, according to Joy DeFabrizio.]
How has raising money for AWF changed your life?
Raising money for AWF makes me really excited to know that people will rally to the cause. I also learned how difficult it is for so many to just get water, we take our clean water for granted and we shouldn’t.
What advice would you give to other kids interested in getting involved with a charity?
Get into it, everybody is really nice, don’t be shy.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I am really having a great time with this project, it is nice to know that I am doing something good.
By Devlin Smith