The students at Eagle Butte High School in Dunmore, AB sure have big hearts! The school’s chess club has donated over $2,300 to Operation Eyesight. Every Friday, the club sells pizza at lunch to raise money. They also sell pop and snacks throughout the year, with proceeds going to a variety of causes.
The students have collected nearly 100 patient identification cards from Operation Eyesight over the years, which they proudly display. “The cards show students the lives they’ve forever changed,” says teacher Sam Montoya. “They feel good about being able to help others.”
Sam suggested Operation Eyesight as a charity the club could support, and the students eagerly agreed. When Sam was 16, an accident with a nail left him blind in one eye.
“At 16, you’d think I’d have felt bad about going blind, but I wouldn’t take my eye back,” explains Sam. “It helped make me who I am, and I like who I am.”
He says it’s “a daily reminder to stop and smell the flowers, enjoy the sunset and be nice to people.” He encourages his students to do the same. “I try to remind students that we might not be able to solve all of the world’s problems, but we can help someone.”
Not only do the students support international development organizations like Operation Eyesight, but they also give back to their school. For example, if the club hears about a student who is unable to play on a sports team because he or she can’t afford the activity fees, the club will pay the students’ fees anonymously. The club also stocks the student resource room with granola bars and other food, so students who need extra help with their studies always have a healthy snack available.
The students’ chess skills get better and better each school year. Sam often challenges students to a game of chess himself, promising to pay them $100 if they beat him. He hasn’t had to pay up yet, but we wish the students good luck!
Thank you for your support, Eagle Butte High School! And thank you, Sam, for sharing the club’s story!
Is your club, church group, sports team or other group interested in raising funds for Operation Eyesight? If so, our Fundraising Toolkit has everything you need to get started!