Mr. Dabbs’ Fifth Grade Class Sacrifice for Others
Every fall for the past 6 years, My Dabbs’ mentions the subject of charity and giving back to his incoming 5th Grade class at Washington Elementary in Mount Vernon. He offers the class relevant information and asks them to decide (as a group) if they want to raise funds for their community with United Way. He explains that if they set a fundraising goal, each of them will likely have to make sacrifices.
Every year Mr. Dabbs’ class comes back with an answer – every year they say “yes”. They want to set a goal, they want to give back, and they are ok having to make sacrifices and do extra work.
Then, I get the call. Tony Dabbs asks if I can come by and talk about the importance of helping others. It’s clear when I arrive at Washington Elementary his students have already discussed this concept for several days and are prepared, eager and curious.
This presentation is my favorite. We discuss community-wide goals, programs aimed at empowering families and equipping kids. They ask great questions and are curious about the problems and efforts to solve them.
A few months later, I get a call from Tony, saying the kids did it, or we maybe they’ve decided they want a little longer. But, in the end each year the kids have reached their goal.
When I come back for the photo op so we can share the great things happening, we have another discussion. The kids talk about their experience. They share how it made them feel, what they had to sacrifice (candy, chips, sodas, allowance, etc), and how it felt to work as a team. They focus on the power of giving, the effect giving has on the giver, it feels good to help others.
This year, Dabbs’ 5th grade class raised $307, the most of any class to-date. Since 2013, Dabbs’ classes have raised almost $1,200.
Deep down I’m really a program guy who is not afraid to ask people for money. I suppose that’s why I’m a fundraiser. It encourages me when teams of people – or kids in this case – come together around creating a better future. Mr. Dabbs’ class reminds me of that when we come together, we are stronger, and changing our own behavior is the first step to reaching our goals.
Thanks Mr. Dabbs’ 2019 Fifth grade class! Click here to see the video!
Special Thanks to Tim Hornbacher at MVHS for putting this video together.