There are many teenagers working service jobs, and many of them bank their hourly pay and spend their tips. But 16-year old Caitlyn Strachan of Kimberley used her tip money for something different this year.
Caitlyn, a Selkirk student, used her tips, and a little help from friends and relatives, to purchase 41 goats for a village in India.
Caitlyn belongs to the Free the Children group at school, which raises funds for various projects around the world. One of many Free the Children projects is We Create Change, where students collect coins to raise funds for sustainable projects in developing communities. Every $50 gives a goat to a family, empowering women and men to support their children and take charge of their futures.
Caitlyn says she was inspired by attending We Day in Calgary this past fall with other members of Selkirk’s Free the Children club.
“I came home and said, ‘why not?’ I can make a difference.
“I put boxes out at a few places and started an online fundraising account. Then I sent emails to my friends and family, challenging them to match what I donated and if they were going to give me a Christmas present, I asked for a donation. I saved my tip money from my restaurant job for three months. All together, I raised $2,050. That’s enough for 41 goats at $50 each.”
Caitlyn hopes to be able to see her gift next summer when she travels to India with Free the Children on a three week trip.
“It’s a three week program to help with community projects,” she said. “You live in a village and help build a school or dig a well.”
Caitlyn will be going to a village near the town of Udaipur and she has asked if the goats she purchased could go to a village she can visit.
“I talked to the India trip coordinator and she said that probably could happen. I’d like to meet a family who got one of the goats.”
Caitlyn is fundraising for her trip to India and if you’d like to help her out, go to gofundme.com/indiathissummer to donate.