An 11-year-old student of Ottawa Christian School is helping improve water and sanitation for a community in Africa by selling cookies and bags of sponge toffee.
Sixth grader Deanna Helleman attended a presentation about justice for the poor with her dad and friends from church.
“I learned that over three billion people in the world or something like that live on less than $2.50 per day,” says Deanna.
“Children in Africa, more than one-third of them die during the first month of their life because of no health services or water,” she says.
Deanna says she was surprised to hear how poor much of the world is, and decided to do something to help.
“I felt sort of ungenerous that we weren’t doing much to help it,” she says.
So Deanna, her mom Sandy and a friend from church started baking.
Calling the campaign Cookies That Care, Deanna raised $650 of the $1,000 she needs to support Plan Canada’s water and sanitation project.
Sandy says Deanna picked that particular project because Plan Canada has partners that will match donations nine to one.
Renting a table at a craft and bake sale at her dad’s workplace, Deanna sold much of the baking.
Sandy says family, friends and neighbours supported Deanna’s efforts by buying the leftovers and giving her extra donations.
Deanna is pondering how to raise the $350 she still needs for the water and sanitation project.
She enjoys using stamps to make cards and is contemplating selling packs of six hand-made cards to raise more money.
Deanna says she feels good about working to make a difference for other people.
Because the bake sale took place during school hours, Deanna missed class.
Sandy says the teacher was supportive and encouraging of Deanna’s efforts.
“We are so proud of her,” says Sandy.
“This was a vision of hers and as parents, her dad and I really had to try to encourage that,” she says.