Schoolgirl donates birthday money to charity
A ten-year-old girl has decided to give all her birthday money away to charity for the second year in a row.
Warwick Academy student Rachael Betschart set an example for us all by donating $650 to the Coalition for the Protection of Children's Breakfast For Everyone programme.
Last year she did the same, donating funds towards Locks of Love: a charity making wigs for children suffering from medical hair loss.
“I thought about it and there wasn't anything I really wanted for my birthday so I decided to give money to charity,” Rachael told The Royal Gazette. “I was thinking that there is usually food at birthday parties and it made me think of a charity that gives people food. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I chose the breakfast programme.”
Rachael's mother, D'Arcey, said her daughter was getting to grips with the idea that not everyone had the benefit of basic human needs.
Her mother said: “Rachael has been trying to understand that there are haves and have-nots. It is hard to see in Bermuda as it is not as evident here as it is in many other countries. I explained to her that sadly there are children in Bermuda who go to school hungry.”
The money Rachael donated will help to buy food for the programme, which services nine public schools around the Island.
Kelly Hunt, the director of child and adolescent services at the CPC, said: “There are about 35 to 40 children on average in each school using the programme and this money will help to buy food such as cereal, granola bars, milk, yoghurt, fruit. Breakfast is such an important meal: it helps children to pay attention, perform better and be less tardy.
“We have a food store so there is food available all year round. We try to get people to become self-sufficient — we want to provide a hand up, not a handout.
“Rachael is demonstrating that if we get children involved early and instil them with a philanthropic spirit it could be revolutionary for the community.”
Rachael also demonstrated her generous spirit last Cup Match when she was inspired by an uncle to collect trash bottles from the water at Mangrove Bay.
He offered to give her ten cents for each bottle she collected and she managed to convince some others to sponsor her to do the work.
In the end she collected 277 bottles by diving to the bottom of the water and was able to raise a total of $250, which she donated to environmental charity Keep Bermuda Beautiful.
One of the bottles turned out to be a very old marble bottle used for medicine.