The French Connection
This French Connection has it’s roots in Abbotsford with two girls, Alexa and Brianna Creelman. Alexa attended WJ Mouat Secondary School and was involved in the Rice Raiser Campaign there. Brianna was a student at Robert Bateman Secondary School. When their family moved to Kelowna, BC, they came to visit Hunger Response Int. and inquired about taking the Rice Raiser Campaign to their new school, Kelowna Secondary School.
Alexa, in grade 12 joined the Interact Club at KSS and invited the Leadership Class to join her in the Rice Raiser Campaign. Brianna helped. Demonstrating tremendous leadership qualities, they contacted Interior Savings Credit Union and applied for $500 sponsorship to purchase rice. Then, they negotiated with Save-On-Foods to purchase rice at cost. Their school hosted the Western Canada Basket Ball Tournament at which they set up a booth and sold the rice to be donated to their community food bank. The money raised went to help people in the Rice Raiser Campaign’s four global projects. The following year, after Alexa graduated, her sister Brianna took over and did the same thing with great results! Their great efforts were publicized on the local radio and in their local newspaper.
When Brianna Creelman graduated she recrutied Brianna Beaudry, the new Leadership President to take over the running of the Rice Raiser Campaign. Brianna Beaudry did another excellent job of promoting the cause and raising funds for the global projects and rice for their local food bank. Once again, Interior Savings granted the $500, investing in the students and their great cause. Save-On-Foods continue to help out with the cost of the rice. Each year, the Rice Raiser Campaign is becoming better known and is impacting people to care for the hungry while providing food for local and global needs!
Brianna Beaudry graduated June 2011 and recruited the next Leadership Class to take it on. The following interview with her explains what happened and it wonderfully demonstrates how students here in Canada are being impacted through their involvement. These young women are stepping out and inspiring others. I think you’ll agree that this story just keeps getting better and better as people are being affected with a long-reaching impact!
An interview with Brianna Beaudry, a graduate student of Kelowna Secondary School who had led the Rice Raiser Campaign at her school in 2011 and is now living in France on a Rotary Student Exchange:
1. What led to your continued involvement in the Rice Raiser Campaign after you’d graduated and were living in France on a post-secondary student exchange?
“I think what pushed me the most to continue volunteering for the Rice Raiser, while studying abroad, was the fact that here in France, organizations like the Rice Raiser do not exist. I love French culture; however, because school days are often from 8am-5:30pm, most students do not have time to take part in fundraisers as they are busy trying to keep up with school. I wanted to continue being an active member of my community. I had taken part in the Rice Raiser Campaign at my high school and remembered how much I had loved the idea of being able to fight extreme hunger both locally and globally. That’s when I decided to contact you to make sure that KSS was still on board. It then occurred to me how great it would be to get other schools in my city to participate in the Rice Raiser. It was at this moment that I realized I could still help the Rice Raiser from abroad. Even though I cannot directly participate in any Rice Raiser campaigns this year, I was able to draft an informative letter about the Rice Raiser that I then sent out to every high school and middle school in my city. So far, we have two schools on board which is already one more than last year!”
2. How did the Rice Raiser Campaign impact you for world hunger?
“The Rice Raiser is able to put everything in perspective. When one thinks about world hunger, it can seem overwhelming; however, with the Rice Raiser, just about anyone can help combat both local and global hunger issues quite easily. I have learnt that through many small initiatives, great things can be accomplished. Also, the Rice Raiser Campaign has made me more aware of hunger in my own backyard. For me, it is now evident that extreme hunger is not something that’s simply found half way across the world but in my own province and city.”
3. Can one person really make a difference to world hunger?
“Of course one person can make a difference. Think of it like a game of dominos. It all starts with one piece that decides to fall or in our case one person who decides to act and soon there is an unstoppable chain effect. Just because an act may seem small does not mean that it is not making a difference. If we can help to quench one persons’ hunger, it will have made a difference to that person and to me that’s how huge world problems will be conquered. Each person helped only brings us that much closer to our goal.”
4. Do you believe that we can end extreme hunger in this generation?
“We will never know if we don’t try. Why leave our problems for the next generations to deal with. If each person strived to be a little more proactive towards ending extreme hunger, I see no reason why our generation could not abolish it.”
5. Final words of encouragement: What do you want to say to students coming up behind you?
“There are age restrictions for just about everything in our world other than leadership. Leadership does not come with an age but is a set of mind. No matter how old you are, you can make a difference today. I would say that there is no point in waiting until tomorrow to solve today’s problems so if you truly want to make a difference don’t wait!”
There are many opportunities to volunteer with Hunger Response International including the Rice Raiser Campaign, Special Events, the Have-A-Rice-Day Movement and many others. Contact us to discuss what best way would work for you!