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Big Hearts Buy US$6,400 Haircut for New Hearts
By Michael Barrs 18-Nov-14
Michael Barrs is an international educator from Tampa, Florida who is currently serving as Athletic Director at The American School of Vietnam. ____________________________________________________________________ The American School of Vietnam (TAS) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam teamed up with Score Tech athletic apparel, Al Fresco’s Café and Grill, and Heartbeat Vietnam with the goal of raising US$5,000 in a one-week fundraiser to save the lives of five children in desperate need of heart surgery. Heartbeat Vietnam identifies the most critical cases among children in Vietnam needing immediate heart surgery and provides them with life-saving medical attention. TAS initiated this fundraiser as a way of fulfilling one of its stated goals of altruistically giving back to the community. The fundraising week kicked off on May 19 with an all-school assembly, complete with live music, videos, and guest speakers. Students and teachers actively raised money through a variety of activities, including: donation envelopes, bake sales, art auctions, pizza sales, t-shirt sales, carnival-style games, and a variety of other fun events. The fundraiser concluded on May 26 with a celebration assembly after TAS not only met, but exceeded the goal by raising over US$6,400 (135,000,000 Dong)! To provide a fun incentive, I allowed the students to choose my new hair style as a reward for meeting their goal. This hairstyle was created live on stage at the assembly and can best be described as a mohawk with racing stripes. Continuing from my experience in both community development and various fields of education through my career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda and an international educator in the USA, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam, I conceived the fundraiser as an event in which students of all levels and teachers of all subjects could get involved. This is truly what education is all about, with every subject coming together to solve a real-world problem. The haircut is a funny reward to encourage our students to take ownership and enjoy the whole process while learning the value of altruism. One Love, One Heart, Let’s Get Together and Feel All Right!
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