By, Danica Cajigas @danicrusader

In order to raise money for facilities at the Rancho San Juan Bosco Orphanage, the International Baccalaureate class of 2015 organized a school wide fundraiser from Nov. 3rd to Nov. 14th. The orphanage that received these funds is located in Tecate, Mexico and fosters an ongoing relationship with Bonita Vista’s IB programme. As a part of the CAS requirements for programme, the candidates are required to have a community service activity with an international aspect.

“In the past, the project was through an organization called Project Concern International. That organization raised funds in order to provide freshwater to Third World countries where clean drinking water was an issue,” IB Coordinator Thomas Dunn said. “So they would do fundraising for the organization which was good but I wanted to have a project that was a little closer to home.”

After multiple years of working with Project Concern International, Dunn decided to establish a connection with the orphanage in Mexico when he took the position of IB Coordinator in 2013.

“I wanted something where they could have a bit more personal contact and experience with what they were fundraising for… With the orphanage, they could have a better sense of how they are helping by actually going and visiting and seeing how the fundraising that they do is helping this group of kids.” Dunn said.

Dunn was originally put in contact with the orphanage through the South Bay Community Services. Since establishing contact with the orphanage last year, some of the IB Class of 2015 visited the orphanage in Tecate for the first time in September.

“We visited the orphanage and saw that is was very run down, they had old toys and food was a huge issue for them. So we decided to raise money for them,” senior IB President, Marian Joy Baluyot said.

The IB class started the fundraiser on November 3 by distributing empty paper coffee cups to each classroom. In order to increase incentive to donate, the fundraiser became  a competition between third period classes campuswide. The class that raised the most money would win a pizza party on Monday. The fundraiser was extended from one week to two after the first collection on money at the end of the first week of the fundraiser.

“It was originally supposed to be a week but since it was such a short amount of time and felt like a rushed fundraiser. Since we didn’t get the announcements out we decided to extend the date to give all the classes more of an advantage and a fair chance at winning the competition,” senior IB Secretary, Melissa Villafor said.

After collecting and totaling the money from the fundraiser, it was announced that Jared Phelps’ third period won the fundraiser. The school raised $1200 in total, with one fourth of the money fundraised by Phelps’ class alone.

“I spent a lot of time talking to the IB juniors about how the orphanage that they are supporting is the one that they will go and visit and do things with. I think we were always trying to make it something that was personally engaging to  them and not just putting some money into a cup for something they didn’t know about,” Phelps said.

Phelps’ third period is one of the few IB specific classes on campus. This gave Phelps extra incentive to raise a significant amount of money. Following Phelps’ class, Mr. Dumas’ class raised the second most amount of money, with Mrs. Hay’s class coming in the third most.

“There are obviously kids in need; [the kids at the orphanage] are really special and unique kids that need many things. For us, it was a part of our IB requirement, but it is a lot more fulfilling than that,” IB Vice President, Asuncion Hampson-Medina said.