The UNICEF Club: Students Take Initiative to Help Others

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The UNICEF organization is dedicated to helping children through their work with kids in over 190 countries and territories.

Chelsea Berson and Ebonie Kibalya

This past year, Betsy Harris ’22 and Julia Schnipper ’22 brought the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) club to SHS. The club seeks to raise awareness for UNICEF’s mission of child protection and inclusion and raise money for the international UNICEF organization. UNICEF helps children worldwide, focusing a majority of the funds they raise on aiding different communities. Although the club faced limitations due to COVID-19 last year, members successfully planed three fundraising events this year. 

The goal of the first fundraiser, a popcorn sale and movie night, was to raise donations for children’s education. The club screened the film Akeelah and the Bee and held a spelling bee competition throughout the viewing. The funds raised will either be contributed directly to UNICEF or allocated to purchase school supplies for local communities in need. 

Overall, the aim of the UNICEF club—outside of its work for those in need—is to make all members feel like leaders. The members often split into three groups and plan different advocacy or fundraising events to ensure that each member is actively participating in the planning, whether they are creating a poster or working on an important task. 

Over the course of four days, the Double Good fundraiser raised over four thousand dollars from the education component of Scarsdale UNICEF alone. The two consecutive groups—zeroing in on hunger and healthcare, respectively—already have their own events in the works. The healthcare segment has already gathered important interviews, and the hunger group is putting together a game night that will be held in the near future. 

The second and third major fundraisers will be an iMovie and a school-wide Kahoot. Using the interviews that have been gathered with doctors and experts on inequities in the field, the iMovie will focus on educating students about healthcare while the school-wide Kahoot will highlight current social issues.

As one of the new additions to the UNICEF team, the only sophomore ambassador, Anushka Kumar ’23 helps plan these events and expand the club in an effort to achieve their goals. Kumar’s excitement to be a part of this group displays the club’s significance. “I think that this club is very important to the school because it gives students an easy and direct way to get involved in the organization,” she said. “They can go to a movie or buy some popcorn and in doing these small things they are helping such a large international organization. By bringing UNICEF to the students and making it personal, the club really connects daily life to something so major and empowering,” added Kumar. She explained that her passion for meeting new people to learn and help others is what inspired her to join the club and apply for ambassador in January. 

With many exciting projects arising in the foreseeable future, the club is quickly gaining momentum. The recent rise in school-wide awareness about UNICEF is expected to grow as the club continues to flourish and expand. 

For more information, follow the club’s instagram account @scarsdaleunicef.