Monday, March 14, 2011

Will we remember Japan next year?

Been thinking of this as we've come to learn and realize the legacy of earthquakes, tsunamis and all the related damage to Japan.
It's quite logical to expect that Ontario's schools will be front-and-centre when it comes to raising significant amounts of money to aid in the relief efforts. They did last year for Haiti. They did for the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.
Responding to these tragic events provides a unique and important opportunity to teach social-justice issues and the value of compassion and service to the global community. I would estimate that, despite the March break this week, schools across the province could easily raise around $1 million in aid for Japan.
Given the expected, routine kerfuffle over school-generated funding that seems to happen like clockwork every year, will we remember that these dollar amounts include every penny raised for this latest relief effort? We need to-- because every penny raised that flows through a school and is then donated to the Red Cross or any other organization on the ground in Japan will be reported as school-generated funds. The same moniker that repeatedly gets labelled simply as fundraising and then confused with the portions of school-generated funds that go to support the extras that some school communities fund for themselves.
Those who are keen amongst us might take note of dollar-amount totals for the relief funds this year, and remember to take those figures into account when 2010-11 school-board audited figures spit out the school-generated funds number some time next year. Just the same way the results we've pondered this year include Haiti fundraising from the last school year.
One could hope, anyway.