LAKEVILLE — Chelsea Shaffer is trying to raise $5,000 to build a well in Africa. Fortunately for the LaVille junior, she has some help. Students and teachers at her school have helped her raise $4,300 just over the past month.
“I went to church camp this summer with two other LaVille students,” explained Shaffer. “There was this speaker who told us that there is this huge water need (worldwide), and I wanted to do something about it.”
She is now doing fundraisers at LaVille to raise money for an organization called Let them LOL. Let them LOL funds wells for people in Sierra Leone, Africa — people that have little or no clean water available to them.
$5,000 is the cost to build one well for the people of the area.
“Water is such a simple resource that we have access to that they don’t,” said Shaffer. “They have water, but sometimes they have to walk three hours to get to it. And lots of times it’s dirty and is likely to make them sick. I felt like God really laid this issue on my heart, and I needed to do something about it.”
Shaffer spent hours during the summer contacting area businesses and asking them to donate to her cause. She then decided to ask LaVille’s teacher facilitator for student council, Jodi Kayser, if she could do fundraising at the school.
“Chelsea is amazing,” said Kayser. “She came to me over the summer to ask if she could do (the fundraising), and she did it.”
Shaffer organized a homeroom competition where different classes competed to see who could raise the most money. Several teachers got on board and donated, some of them matching the funds raised by their class.
“We have some staff members that are very competitive, so that’s good,” said Kayser. “Four teachers matched their classroom’s donation.”
Shaffer’s homeroom won the contest this past week, and she said students are excited about the prize — a Chick-fil-A party donated by Chick-fil-A in South Bend.
Shaffer has also been selling rubber bracelets with a slogan from the organization, and plans to have a raffle at the school’s homecoming game September 21.
“I had no idea that (the fundraising) would happen this quickly,” said Shaffer. “I had no idea that people would be this fantastic.”
Businesses that have providing Shaffer with prizes for the homeroom competition or items for the raffle include: Bridal Boutique by Peg Ann, Dairy Queen in South Bend and Plymouth, Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt, Pizza Hut in Plymouth, Chippewa Bowl, Jimmy John’s in South Bend, Chick-fil-A in South Bend, Culver’s, Target, Kroger in South Bend, Krispy Kreme in Mishawaka, and Sherwin-Williams in South Bend.
“We don’t have to raise just $5,000,” said Shaffer. “All the money we raise we will give to the organization. One hundred percent goes to the people of Sierra Leone.”
Donations will be collected until October 1. To donate, send a check payable to “Let them LOL” to LaVille Jr./Sr. High School, 69969 U.S. 31, Lakeville, IN, 46536. With questions, contact Jodi Kayser, 574-784-3151 ext. 241.