Below are some ideas from FOR Clubs around the country. Every idea has been posted word for word from emails received by Rachel's Challenge.
For ongoing ideas visit our FOR Facebook page!
The coolest activity we did this year was in December when we were supposed to be trying to help needy families. We adopted a man who had been hit by a drunk driver and nearly died, but came all the way back to become a blind marathon runner and anti-drinking/driving speaker. His house was destroyed by a tornado in the fall and the kids organized a Walk-a-thon to raise money for him to replace his belongings.
They raised more than $2000 for he and his wife. It was awesome. One of the local television stations covered it.
Dansville High School
- serving at the monthly community meal (good will offering only) and explaining Rachel's challenge to the attendees.
- helping out at a PTA sponsored roller skating night for the school/community.
Our members designed a large appreciation card for all staff at a local hospital. The kids came up with this. We laminated the card and pictures of our members were included in the card.
This month our Chain Reaction Teams are making appreciation scrapbooks for two trauma hospitals and one of them is a children's hospital. A 6th grade CRT member presented this idea and we accepted the challenge last month. We plan to finish the appreciation books by the holiday time and present them to the staff.
A student at our middle school just recently died due to complications of the flu. The family couldn't afford funeral expenses so we have been selling paper doves as a part of a "dove' project where people write a message on the dove to the family and get a Dove chocolate for $1 each.We've made posters and sent kindness letters.
Bartlett High School
We write letters! I mean, we write a lot of letters. We have our own stationary and we write letters to folks with problems, etc. Examples would be: The Virginia Tech incident spawned about 100 letters from our club, the Cleveland incident as well, we have a person in Plano with a brain tumor and FOR has responded, sickness, surgeries, and losses in our own community do not go un-attended with kindness. In my own personal life I had a couple of former players of whom one needed a kidney and the other donated it several weeks ago to great success. Our FOR was on the spot with letters of encouragement. This is a routine and powerful way to get our message of kindness across.
Discussion was had to begin our "Operation Shoe Polish" program. This will be a system by which members of FOR will shoe polish their own cars with appropriate and meaningful slogans such as: Make a Difference, Believe, You are Pure Potential, etc. for periods of time and change the slogan. They then trace their hands around the slogan to show that it is from the FOR Program. The hope is to spread kindness this way and to spawn question about why we are doing this.
Wylie High School
Our community service project is to participate in an upcoming Relay for Life scheduled for April 18th, where 15 of our members will help to raise money for cancer research. Here are some of our recent fundraisers:
PCMS Puma Showcase - FOR student leaders set up a display table were we had several of our FOR posters displayed and a couple of books we purchased about Rachel. We shared with future students what our club was about and encouraged them to join when they join our campus next school year. We also had a donation bucket for parents and visitors to help support our Relay for Life team. The kids also sold candle luminaries that will be lit during the event to honor cancer survivors, and those who lost their battle with this disease. We were able to collect around $145.00.
Wear a Hat to School Day - Student leaders & members sold arm bands that allowed kids to wear crazy hats all day during school....all $$$ collected went to our Relay for Life team. ( Our ultimate goal is to raise $1000.00 in honor of Rachel for our Relay for Life team.)
Spud Day -for $5.00 our faculty and staff were treated to a Jason's Deli baked potato with all the trimmings and tea. We sent Jason's Deli a thank you card from our FOR leaders and members thanking them for their donation and supporting our Rachel's Challenge event. (We raised $200.00)
Park Crest Middle School
I'm so excited to tell you about our Rachel's Challenge Club fundraiser. Here's a little background…we were inspired by Rachel's handprints that say "These hands belong to RJS and will someday touch millions of peoples' hearts." We are going to paint a mural in our 800 hall way of a picture of two hands and above it, it will read, "These hands belong to the students of MVHS and will someday touch millions of peoples' hearts." Since we were inspired by this, we decided to do a fund raiser where every staff member and every student could purchase a hand print. For $2.00 they got to choose the color of paint, we painted their hands, and they got to put their hand print on the wall. They also got to sign their name under it and the year they are to graduate, as a pledge. We did this fundraiser for 1 _ weeks during lunch. At first, we didn't get a lot of students, by the end of the week we had to turn students away b/c we had too many. We had a student's parent offer to make us t-shirts to advertise it and they also made stickers that read: "I left my mark". It was a huge fundraiser; a lot of work, time, energy, and dedication from our members (again, we are small with only about 15 members total this year b/c we are so new). I have a feeling after this event, our club will be much bigger next year. The students loved leaving their mark on our wall. It was such positive fund raiser and event that it made it into our local newspaper and school newspaper. We plan to do this every year. We also raised $1,800. We are so excited to have $ that we can give back to our community and school by doing random acts of kindness. The timing of this was perfect as it was completed the weekend before the 9th anniversary of her death.
Murrieta Valley High School
One motivational thing we do to try to keep kids coming to the meetings is provide a snack at every meeting. We also try to do one fun activity each week. For example, we play battle ball or do some role playing. To attract new members, we ask the current members to all bring one friend with them to the next meeting. It seems to boost attendance every time we ask.
Jackpot Combined School
One more thing we are doing to recruit members is we are giving a presentation to the fifth grade, encouraging them to join the friends group next year.
We had CRT meetings during lunch, which had a couple of effects: students came to get out of the cafeteria:) and students came who would not have been able to stay after school or come early. By the end of the year the cafeteria avoiders left us and the dedicated team members stayed because we worked persistently to have discussions, do cards and posters for the targets of kindness and keep the CRT on task.
Strickland Middle School
Jackson has a Power Point that runs (school-wide) during our advisory class so I used that for communicating with club members and those interested in joining.
We just started in the FOR program but something I did when first recruiting members was find quotes that meant something (i.e. "be the change you want to see" " make a friend you will never know whose life you'll save" and other inspirational quotes) I put them in size 72 times new roman on white paper and taped them ALL around my school. In the bathrooms on the ceilings lunch lines you name it. I did this a week prior to my meeting. My first meeting I had 25 people that I had never seen before and they were greatly impacted by them. The black text on plain white paper shows the quote as sort of a fact and makes you think about your daily actions and not only are they the only flyers around school that haven't been ripped down by angry kids imp getting very positive feedback from the administration!
Thousand Oaks High School
We are working on recruiting, because just asking them to bring friends helped us, but did not have a large impact on membership-our plan is to ask for reps from each of the campus groups at the beginning of the year, and to do a special FOR session at our GHS OWL Conference in the fall in September, put on by members that have shown good leadership in the FOR Club Brian, Lauren, and Leanza are the students who will lead these sessions and inform/involve others.
Garland High School
When members join FOR they fill out a beautiful blue membership form and give me their e-mail address. I have developed an e-mail address book in my school e-mail account for Friends of Rachel. A parent volunteer assisted me in adding the over 200 contacts to the address book. An e-mail address book with my students contacts has to be the best communication of all! I can easily e-mail out information about our upcoming meetings and projects and students often e-mail me back.
Rockwall High School
In an effort to raise funds for the club we are hosting a movie & game night with a positive influences theme. We are going to hold the event on a Saturday night in an effort to give students alternatives to other "activities." We will be showing a positive themed movie (yet to be selected) in the auditorium and selling popcorn, soda and candy (using our concession stand) from 7 pm - 9 pm. Following the movie, we are going to set up several PlayStations through out the building and have the kids play "Guitar Hero."
Harlan Community High School
Strickland Middle School had a very successful food drive. We collected 1019 food items and donated them to Vision Ministries who feed struggling families and the homeless in Denton. Some of our teachers really helped by offering extra credit, free homework passes, or "bonus bucks" for a can of food and our library allowed students to bring a can to replace 50 cents worth of library fines (some kids brought in a LOT of cans to pay off their library fines!). We love how our school joined in to help Friends of Rachel make this a successful project!
Strickland Middle School
This email was sent out to the school staff to promote the Chain of Kindness:
All teachers will be receiving colored "chain links" in boxes B3 tomorrow to help Friends of Rachel with this project at our school. Your support will help the students who are working to carry on the goal of Rachel Scott, to start a chain reaction of kindness and affect the cultural climate of our school. Thank you for setting the example of caring that our students can see every day. Melanie
Students in each of the 4 class levels have a different colored link to use, to write down the name of a student they see doing an act of kindness, and/or to write the name of a student who has done an act of kindness that they have received.
Seniors are Purple, Juniors are Orange, Sophomores are Green, and Freshmen are Yellow. We hope to get the chain going at lunches on Tuesday, for the FOR Clickity Clack Day for February, at the table in the cafeteria during B3. You may have students from your B3 turn them in then to a member of FOR or our parent volunteer, Mrs. Torske. We simply ask that you promote it in your classes, so a student can ask you for a link to participate. There are supplies of each color in Student Activities for you to get more and have on hand.
Garland High School
We pulled off a "Lift Up Wylie" event that found nearly 40 elementary students in our community served by our FOR Club on December 6th. We had over 70 students show up with snacks and good cheer. The kids came in to applause and a positive setting. They were taken by students and fed pizza (donated from the community) and snacks and popcorn. I am enclosing just a few pictures taken that will be covered by our school and local newspaper. It was such a great night. These kids were awed by our FOR club and made feel so good about themselves. It began at 6:00 p.m. and the movie began at 6:30 p.m. It was most rewarding evening and received so well. I was so impressed with our kids and they kept coming up to me as they chased kids all over the building who just could not get enough of the night. They would tell me how much fun they were having and that they thought we should do this again. These are high school kids and I have to tell you that I am so proud of them. I am also going to copy you an email sent to me by a parent even before the event took place. They were selected by their campus to participate with the criteria being that the student be someone they thought would benefit by having a mentor from the high school for an evening. It was a glorious success. Several students have already planned outings with their kid to do things like bowling or trips to the mall. Kindness is alive and well in Wylie High School and I wanted to share it with you.
Wylie High School
Our Rachel's Challenge FOR members are hosting a Guitar Hero Competition today, Wednesday, April 16th from 4-6 p.m. in our school cafeteria. Students will pay a $5 registration fee to enter the event, or $2 to watch and enjoy. Only 30 students will be entered into the contest: 10 from each grade level. Winners and our FOR student leaders will be treated to lunch and a tour of a downtown Austin tv/music recording studio.(It's similar to a local MTV studio here in the Austin area...popular local DJ's work in this studio ...we are still working on additional prizes too. In addition, members have donated drinks and our student council is providing snacks to help support our FOR team with concessions to sell during the event. Our hopes is for this to be a huge success...so far the kids seems really excited. (If you're interested in me sending you some photos, please let me know.)
Park Crest Middle School
We have a huge bulletin board near the cafeteria where we place pictures of the new students, grade and where they came from. Although our "lunchtime greeters" program has not been consistent, the students, in general, have become more outwardly welcoming without being prompted, especially during lunchtime.
Strickland Middle School
Our school requires student ID badges and all the members of the FOR have an additional badge that they wear in addition to their school badge. Many have chosen just to wear the FOR badge. What it does is allows our teachers to know who they are and to call on them for any service they have need of whether it be simply to run an errand or to intervene with a student who is struggling both academically or emotionally or socially. They are called upon frequently. It is also used in our new student program. As we get new students 5 FOR members are assigned to each new student until the new student is acclimated to WHS. They are given the student's schedule and they go immediately to where the student is; knock on the door and tell the teacher that they are from Friends of Rachel and want to meet the new student. The teacher allows the new student in the hallway and contact is made so our students can recognize the student and plan for the student's day and lunch. They take care of the new student. We are averaging about 7 students per week. Our kids love doing this and we need more new students just to keep them happy. As a side note I have had several new FOR students who told me that they joined at first just to get the badge, but once they saw what we are doing their heart was captured and are a part of all we do.
Wylie High School
Check out this PowerPoint Presentation made by a GHS Junior in FOR.
One of the slides (3rd one) has a photo taken in front of our school. We are making Mix It Up/FOR shirts next week. We have special activities at this week's Wed-Thurs lunches for National Mix It Up Day. This includes FOR members stepping with our Boys Step Team during the 4 lunch periods and getting kids to join in. See the "Mix It Up" PowerPoint below. -AFTER you're done, be sure to scroll down for more "Mix It Up" Day examples.
Garland High School
Our cafeteria program is one that we are extremely proud of. We have three lunches on a closed campus and feed 2000 kids each day. They make a mess and there is very little time to clean before the next wave arrives. We have volunteers who sacrifice the last three minutes of their lunch (which is only 30 minutes long) to clear tables. They push these barrels on wheels around and clear trash from the tables to help the cafeteria workers and custodians as well as the incoming students to have a clean place to sit for lunch. This has had incredible result. Just this week in our meeting and in a sharing time we always have one of our students commented that at first there was a lot of trash, but now there is not as much because the general population is putting their own trash away. Also, noted that at first the students made fun of them and now they are actually saying thank you and passing the trash to them. Wow! Kindness is starting to take hold all because of a 3 minute sacrifice.
As mentioned earlier, we have our spot on the wall. It is the FOR wall with our dream tree and our bulletin board. I post the thank you notes we get from staff and honestly across the community. We have our members' slips as well on a maroon background. Each name is a small slip of paper and stapled to the maroon. Beside it is a notice of what this list is about. It says something like that each name is a single slip of paper of its own, but when one looks at all the slips of paper on the maroon background that the maroon background is becoming less and less visible because it is covered by the all the names. One is one, but together it can cover a lot. Our goal is to cover our school in kindness, one person at a time.
Wylie High School
Here is a card we created for our members. The front has a signature place and the backside has Rachel's 5 challenges. Just thought this possibly could be shared.
Also, we have put together a FOR team that is participating in the Relay for Life (America Cancer Society's fund raiser for Cancer). I have created a hat with a FOR logo we came up with. The O represents a chain for creating the chain reaction.. Not sure if you like this, but I wanted to pass along.
I have attached our flyer for "Can Wars" our schools food-drive. We are collecting food for Hope House, which is a shelter for homeless and battered women for our town. The faculty have been showing up the grades, but it's all good fun. Students have made commercials to promote the even that have been very creative.
The Random cards are given to students and when they do a random act of kindness they give the card to the person and sign their name on the available line and instruct this person that they have had a random act of kindness done for them and to keep the card and when they do an random act for someone else, sign the next line and pass on the instructions. The 10th person then sends the card back to us. This works well - in cycles -. We keep the cards on our Random Acts Card Wall of Fame. Already a card has left the city.
Wylie High School