Tulsa Adventist Academy Feeds the Need

June 11, 2024

TULSA, OKLA. – As students are preparing to start back at school in August, we are looking back at the most impactful fundraiser that Tulsa Adventist Academy did in the 2023/2024 school year! “Feed the Need” was the mantra for Tulsa Adventist Academy (TAA) students from Feb. 5-March 5, 2024. The Rohingya people sheltering in the largest refugee camp in the world in Bangladesh have a need: they rely mostly on nonprofit organizations to provide them with shelter and food. Some teachers showed videos from a Bangladeshi refugee camp and others showed photographs of this people group who are currently without a country to call their own. To “feed” this need, TAA teamed up with The Champion Group to raise $30,000 in five weeks to raise money for funding TAA discipleship and packing meals for these refugees. Gloria, a freshman, stated “I enjoyed working all together to pack everything and knowing that it was all going to people who really need it.”

Students and their families registered to participate and were then assigned a personal webpage for receiving and tracking donations. The goal was to urge businesses to donate and those who made large donations had their logos printed on our “Feed the Need” t-shirts. Alongside businesses, many individuals also donated to this cause. Every week, TAA had incentives for students to reach individual goals of approximately $800 per person by March 5, ranging from ice cream and extra recess; principal, home and school leader and high school science teacher shaving their beards; trampoline park; teachers’ competition (planks, skits, arm wrestling) to the grand finale: Larry Seery, TAA principal and Samson Sembeba, First Tulsa Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor, spending 24 hours on TAA’s rooftop, with a livecam, of course!

TAA’s mission is to prepare students for heaven and earth, and with this project, every single student, from PreK-12, was able to participate. Also, families were involved so that everyone could help feed the need. The big day finally came, and donning hair covering and gloves on March 5, all students rotated by classroom through packing stations measuring rice and grains into plastic bags. Coby, a junior, said, “It was fun to help the younger ones and watch them try to put their food item in quickly to beat the other group.” Other students weighed the bags, some sealed the bags, others collected the bags into boxes. By 12:30 p.m., 1.5 pallets were filled with 10,000 sealed meals for Rohingya refugees. Katelyn, a junior, says she loved “knowing that I was helping provide food for those who are in need and having fun while doing it in the process.”

To raise $30,000 in five weeks, we needed to move people to donate in a big way. Thanks to our donors, students and their families, teachers and school board members (several of whom volunteered on March 5 and served on the campaign as “captains”) we exceeded our goal by $2,000. A portion of the money raised remains at TAA to help with administering the campaign and developing the vision of TAA and Home & School. Cassidy, a sophomore, may have summed it up best: “I loved knowing that the meals we packed were going to reach so far and feed so many kids. It really, truly hit my heart how we take so much for granted and I know many of us finally stopped to think about how we could help so many have a basic necessity that we usually never think about.”

By Caroline A. Fisher

TAA M&D Director