LAREDO, TEXAS (UISD) - When Oregon State University student Karla Garcia decided to conduct a fundraiser for the Animals Asia Foundation (AAF), she set off a wave of support at her home-town.
Her Mother, Maria Garcia, is a 5th grade teacher at Finley Elementary School. Upon learning about her daughters’ efforts, Martha urged the Finley Ecology Club to research the plight of the Asiatic Black Bear (Moon Bear), which is regularly and inhumanely farmed for its bile. Upon hearing about the bears’ predicament, Ecology Club students began to further research the topic on their own and subsequently organized a fundraiser that called on fellow students to donate their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
School Principal Mr. Joe Garza participated in the fundraising efforts by making daily ‘bear fact’ announcements over the school’s intercom system.
One first grader with an affinity for bears donated all of the proceeds from his piggy bank ($55.73). A grand total of $1,000.00 was raised for the AAF. It is important to note that the Finley Ecology Club has always been involved with local non-profits.
Through their many activities, students in the club have gained a greater understanding of animal rights, respect, rescue and rehabilitation. They have also participated in weekly adoption events and some have become foster owners for rescued dogs.
Principal Garza summed it up best – “Under the inspired guidance of their sponsor (Maria Garcia – 5th grade teacher), the club expanded their horizons well beyond Laredo. They took on a cause that had an impact on their environment – one of the goals of the club. This experience will no doubt teach our students the importance of volunteerism and an understanding that they can make an impact on their world”.