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    • Students fundraise outside Ashley’s Ice Cream in New Haven.

CFBF Fundraising Returns After One-Year CancellationCFBF Fundraising Returns After One-Year Cancellation

Grace Laliberte ‘24 Campus Correspondent
Fundraising is back once again, with students in every grade setting out across the state to fundraise on behalf of the Connecticut Food Bank. School-wide fundraising is an annual event that was temporarily eliminated last year due to COVID-19, but has now returned with significant enthusiasm and support from students.
The proceeds are going to the Connecticut Food Bank, a non-profit organization committed to providing underprivileged individuals with the food they need. “It’s a great cause,” said Helen Xiong ’24. “We were really excited to get involved with it.”

Students set up tables in pre-approved locations in various stores in New Haven, Branford, Madison, and Guilford. These storefronts were validated by Student Council (StuCo) members, who called and acquired permission in the weeks before fundraising began. “We call each individual store to first ensure that we’re allowed to fundraise outside their store. Then, each class president sends out grade-wide spreadsheets that have the openings for each location so that students can sign up to sit outside that particular store at a particular time,” explains StuCo member Chris Ruaño ’22. “We got many stores that were available to fundraise this year, which was really helpful,” says Vedant Aryan ’24, who is also a member of StuCo.

Signs that displayed different facts about the Food Bank and childhood hunger decorated the fronts of the tables. Some strangers stopped, interested in the cause or drawn to the fact that students were from Hopkins School. “We met so many people who graduated from Hopkins,” said Xiong. “Some asked us about the Food Bank, and we were able to tell them a few facts about how they serve people here in Connecticut.” Students were also encouraged to create their own signs or jars promoting their cause, with the incentive that the best-decorated sign or jar could win two tokens in this school-wide con- test. These tokens are exchangeable in the “CFBF Arcade,” a system in which the number of hours spent fundraising and the winning of these contests are accounted for and traded for various prizes, such as Hopkins merchandise, stuffed animals, fidget toys, and more.

StuCo has also implemented additional competitive aspects among the grades. Every class has its respective fundraising program, and the total amount of money made is counted and compared to the other grades. Emma Yan ’24 is a supporter of the friendly rivalry: “It’s nice to have that sort of competition and incentive to get people fundraising. That sort of competition really drives the cause forward.” The most successful grade is periodically announced at the weekly Assemblies, and it is reliably met with enthusiasm from students who are loyal to their grades. “With the seniors, although we started out slowly, our engagement has steadily increased to the point where we exceeded our targets for our last weekend. It’s been great to see the seniors getting more enthusiastic about helping out our community even with all the stresses that this time (and college admissions in particular) can bring.” Ruaño commented.

The fundraising has been extremely successful, with a steady stream of students signing up to help every weekend. Over Thanksgiving break, opportunities to fundraise increased immensely. “We were able to get out there almost every day.” Yan noted. “A lot of people donated; we made over 550 dollars,” Adam Zheng ’24 said.
 
As fundraising came to a close this year, many students had shown initiative and drive towards assisting the Connecticut and New Haven communities. “It’s important to help people in your community when you can,” Swarna Navaratnam-Tomayko ’24 concluded.
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