Oklahoma Christian School students have spent the last week doing zany things as they raised $60,850 for a good cause during their week of fundraising called H.E.R.O.E.S. Week.
H.E.R.O.E.S. stands for Hands Extended Reflecting Our Exalted Savior and originated in 2003.
The private school, with 282 high school students, led the middle school and elementary school children in their activities to reach their final total.
Money raised this year went to Team Red Bowl, an arm of an international nonprofit organization called Joint Aid Mission or JAM. JAM has been feeding children in South Africa for 25 years.
More than 750,000 children gather a day in three regions of Africa with their red bowl to be filled with a nutritious porridge containing 75 percent of the protein and nutrients a child needs in a day.
One of the three chairpersons for the OCS fundraising week, senior Truett Ross opened the final “REVEAL” assembly telling students, “Whether it was the elementary students participating in a Four-Square Tournament or the high school students playing 3-on-3 basketball, dodge ball and powder puff football, watching a movie or eating Oreo balls, we all had fun supporting a cause we all have grown to love.”
Tracy Zserdin and her son, Jake, a 10-year-old Deer Creek student, were on hand to share information about the program with the students. Jake traveled to Africa with his mother in 2011. He told the students he liked feeding the children, playing soccer with them and holding the babies.
“A child dies every 6 seconds from malnutrition,” Tracy Zserdin told the students. “For most of these children this is the only meal they will have that day. JAM is able to feed a child for a year for $50. Oklahoma can make a big difference in South Africa, one bowl at a time.”
Zserdin became the first stateside captain for Team Zserdin in January of 2011. Her sons, Jake and his brother Zack, then a fifth-grader, were the first ones to give of their own money and join the team.
“Not only does this organization promote feeding the children nutritious meals, but they provide clean water and the capability to drill water wells,” said one of three Student Council chairs, senior Holly Hoehner. “They also promote education and provide pastors to share the gospel.”
Zserdin told the students, “Our goal is to fill 1 million Red Bowls a day, transforming 1 million lives, one Red Bowl at a time.”
She said it honors God and helps students to live outside themselves when giving for others.
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but succeeding in things that don’t matter,” Zserdin said.
FOR MORE information about Team Red Bowl or to join the Zserdins’ team, Team Red Bowl, go to www.teamredbowl.com.