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Coins for India Drive Supports COVID Victims

Rudy Brandl

Every penny counts. That’s precisely how The Wardlaw+Hartridge School approached its late spring fundraiser to benefit COVID victims in India.

Lower and Middle School students participated in a Coins for India drive by collecting coins and literally funneling donations through a coin drop created by fifth grade students. Three weeks of daily contributions from students in the W+H community yielded a total donation of $1,453, which was directed to the India Humanitarian Appeal through UNICEF USA.

“People around the world were stunned by the rapid surge of COVID-19 in India, and by the way the health system was overwhelmed,” said Andy Webster, Head of School. “Concerns ran deep here at Wardlaw+Hartridge, where many of our families have relatives and friends who were at risk.  For them the anguish was personal.  We wanted to help, and also to provide a way for our students to feel they were making a difference, so we rapidly put together this coin drive.  Student response was immediate and generous, as I knew it would be for this worthy cause.”

UNICEF USA was very specific in its acknowledgement for the W+H contribution: “Your generosity will help provide children in India with everything they need to survive and thrive in this time of crisis: vaccination, health care, sound nutrition, education, protection from abuse and exploitation, safe water and emergency assistance.”

The COVID Relief for India project represented a collaboration of W+H Lower School students, culminating in the fifth-grade STEM class creating a coin drop.  Each class was charged with designing a working coin drop, and the fifth grade students installed the best design, which allowed students to drop their coins into a tube system that ran from the second floor to the entrance area on the first floor, where the coins dropped into a large container.

UNICEF USA expressed gratitude for Wardlaw+Hartridge’s generous contribution. President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis wrote: “With your gift, you became a part of that global community and its incredible power for good. Your generous support makes all that UNICEF does possible – your gift will save lives. In fact, UNICEF has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. The work isn't easy, but it's worth it – and none of it would happen without your support.”