As part of our school vision, love, transformation and growth the support of charities and charitable acts is important to all of us here at Offenham School. During one of our assemblies we heard the story of ‘the boy and the starfish’ and were encouraged and challenged to commit to making a difference in our world, no matter how small that contribution may be.
'The boy and the starfish'
An old man was doing his daily walk along the beach one morning, when he spotted a young boy crouched by the water, scooping something up from the sand and throwing it into the sea.
The beach was normally empty at this time of day, and so the old man stopped to watch for a while.
He noticed that the boy kept on shuffling a little further down the beach, then repeating this same action again and again – stopping, scooping, throwing, moving.
“What are you doing there, boy?” the old man asked, walking closer.
“I’m saving these starfish that are stranded” replied the boy, “if they stay on the beach they will dry out and die, so I’m putting them back into the ocean so they can live.”
The old man was silent for a few seconds.
“Young man” he said, “on this stretch of beach alone, there must be more than one hundred stranded starfish. Around the next corner, there must be at least one thousand more. This goes on for miles and miles and miles – I’ve done this walk every day for 10 years, and it’s always the same. There must be millions of stranded starfish! I hate to say it, but you’ll never make a difference.”
The boy replied “well I just made a difference for that one”, and continued with his work.
We have a Charities and ECO Minister as part of our Pupil Parliament. They work to create opportunities to take part in charity work and ECO activities and also seek to inspire fellow pupils with acts of courageous advocacy - acts that seek to bring about justice and equality for all.
Over the last few years we have supported a range of charities, both locally and further afield including Toilet Twinning, Christian Aid refugee fund, Children in need, The leprosy Mission, Red nose day – comic relief and sport relief, Teams4u shoebox appeal, Anaphylaxis Awareness charity, Cancer Research UK, Myeloma UK and our local Food Bank - Caring Hands.
We have worked with a man in our village who has a link with Sierra Leone, through an organisation called Project 3580 in Kissitown. After hearing that £5 can make a real difference by providing a mosquito net for a family, our charities ministry were inspired to make a difference and organised a coffee morning and a family fun quiz evening. Overall there was enough money raised to buy 30 mosquito nets.
Our aim is to strengthen our relationship with the school in Kissitown and continue to make a difference to young lives by sponsoring children to be able to attend school as well as providing more mosquito nets to help people avoid getting malaria.