A Little Can Go a Long Way


The UNICEF Club aims to make a difference and help those who need it the most

The Potomac Falls UNICEF Club starts another year of fundraising, and plans to add even more new original activities to its lineup. An extension of the United Nations Children’s Fund, members are student ambassadors and participate in several different fundraisers to support the organization. The club, sponsored by teacher, Kristin Bird,  meets on Friday mornings from 8:30 to 9 in room 209. Club members educate others about child poverty and raise funds for UNICEF international that will be sent to help improve the lives of children in developing countries around the globe.

According to the club’s president, senior Lena Nickle, the UNICEF club aims to educate people and improve the lives of others.

“There a lot of people out there who don’t have a voice, who can’t speak for themselves or don’t know how to. [We], being born here in the US, we won the life lottery and expect all of these things such as education and having food on the table on an everyday basis, so I think it’s really important that we educate those who don’t know what UNICEF is about and that [we educate them about those] who lack all of those necessities that we have,” said Nickle. “It’s really important that we educate everyone about it because if you don’t know what’s going on outside your own realm then it’s gonna be really hard not only like in your life but also the real world because there are people around you who are struggling.”

Nickle joined the club during her freshman year after being inspired by a history project she did in middle school about an overlooked influential figure. Nickle chose Audrey Hepburn.

“I saw one of her movies, ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and I was like ‘I wanna write about her,’ so I got a book about her and it was called ‘What would Audrey Do.’ It talked about UNICEF in one of the first pages in the book,” said Nickle.

When she got to high school, she attended an electives fair and saw the Another World/UNICEF Club booth. “I was like ‘Oh My God, like this is cool.  I didn’t know they had this club here, so I’m going to join it because I saw it in that book,’” said Nickle.

The club has been sponsored by Bird for the last four years, and although it is her responsibility to count the money, the club is primarily student run.

“The kids are the ones that do all of the fundraising, and I might like help tamper their ideas…but they do all the collecting with their boots on the ground; they just bring me the money,” said Bird. “I will help them do whatever they want to accomplish to be able to raise and send as much money we can in to the organization to help as many people as possible.”

The club will participate in several different fundraisers and activities to raise money this year. This new lineup of fundraisers include an Audrey Hepburn movie night for Audrey Hepburn’s birthday, bake sales and a new fundraiser that involves taping a teacher to a wall for 30 minutes. According to Nickle, the club will have jars with teacher’s pictures on them and depending on whichever jar has the most money, that teacher or staff member will be taped to a wall in the cafeteria for 30 minutes.

“We think we are gonna ask Mr. Sponaugle and that’s gonna be really popular, so we’re going to get a lot of donations,” said Nickle.

The new bake sale is coined UNI-CHEF.  The name was inspired after a current officer’s initial confusion over the organization’s actual name.

The club also visited elementary schools last year to help spread awareness about UNICEF and plans to add middle school to their agenda this year.  At elementary schools, the club talked about developing countries and first world problems while using an activity involving candy as model for young children. In the scenario, one country had more candy than the other and the club used this as an example of how some countries lack resources they needs to survive and how UNICEF can help with that.

“They really loved it last year, so I’m really excited to go back and it’s gonna be a lot better,” said Nickle.  

The club’s main fundraiser called, Trick or Treat for UNICEF,  is a longstanding fundraiser in Oct., where participants collect money from donors in a box similar to one traditionally used for trick or treating. On the back of each box, there is a list of what a specific amount of money can get a child, so that participants can give donors an example of how their money might benefit children worldwide in different situations.   

“Usually a lot of people donate if they have like a dollar or even a penny on them. No matter how much it is, it still goes a really long way,” said Nickle.

For Nickle, the best thing about UNICEF is having the satisfaction of knowing she is making a difference in someone’s life.

“ I want to spend the rest of my life working with things like UNICEF and NGOs and nonprofits, so my favorite thing about it is that the fact that I know there is a kid out there, and I’m changing their life. I can’t see them, I can’t hear them, but I feel like I’m doing something that’s gonna benefit other people, [and] that makes me happy,” said Nickle.

“I want people to know that even though it is a big organization, it’s not something that requires a  lot of time, [and] it’s not something that is scary because it’s so big. It’s a lot of fun because it’s the original kids helping kids…If we have the opportunity to provide kids with a platform to develop themselves and to live up to their full potential then we’ve done a really good job and that’s the future; children are the future, so without them we’d be screwed.”