‘Raise Craze’: Students forgo traditional fundraising, instead ask for donations in exchange for acts of kindness

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:08 PM CDT
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LORENA, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas elementary school has forgone the traditional route of fundraising by selling items door-to-door and instead is asking for donations in exchange for acts of kindness.

It’s the second consecutive year Lorena Elementary has taken part in the online fundraising platform fueled by acts of kindness called Raise Craze.

“One of our core values here at Lorena Elementary is kindness,” said Assistant Principal Brad Beheler. “We focus on three traits: perseverance, kindness and responsibility and we really like to hone in on that kindness, and what better way to do it, than to raise funds for our school through kindness.”

The third, fourth and fifth grade students set up pages online where donors can go to read about their acts of kindness and then give money.

The students are spreading out across the community, offering different acts of kindness which include everything from lawn care to cards.

“We have students mowing their neighbor’s yard. We have students recycling. We have students going to visit senior citizens’ homes. We have students collecting canned goods and collecting their gently used toys and clothes at home and donating it to people in need,” Beheler said. “We’re just showing up and showing out all over the place.”

Raise Craze at Lorena Elementary
Raise Craze at Lorena Elementary(Courtesy Photo)

Student Cailey Isom says she’s enjoying spreading kindness because it makes the world a better place.

“I am donating books and toys to little kids who need it,” Isom said. “Kindness is important to fill our world with joy since our earth can be full of much sadness. So, it’s easier to be sad, but when it’s full of kindness, it is way better.”

It’s a feeling shared by student Reed Beheler.

“I’m picking up the trash and mowing people’s lawns and picking up trash bins and pulling them up to their house and it’s important to be kind because it makes the world a better place,” Reed said.

Raylee Collins is raising money for a local shelter while Easton Wilson and Rylee Wilson are picking up trash and making cards for people they say “are sad.”

Beheler said the students already raised more than $2,500 dollars in the first two days of the fundraiser, but said that what impressed him most is how students kicked off the service early.

“Probably, the coolest thing that’s happened is at last night’s Friday varsity football game we had some fourth-grade boys who took it upon themselves to kick off the fundraiser before it was even official and they went around the stadium and they were picking up trash all over the place,” Beheler said. “We hadn’t even announced the fundraiser yet. They just knew it was coming up and they felt like they wanted to get a head start on it.”

Last year’s fundraiser raised around $10,000 and, this year, the goal is another $10,000.

The school plans to use the money to purchase new gym AV equipment like a PA system and video projector as well as school supplies.