LEWISBURG – Students who run a service club at Lewisburg Area High School hope to spread the Club One model to nearby schools.
Club One members have developed a business plan for its club model, which combines local fundraising with a charity that helps valley residents and microcredit through an online service for borrowers around the world.
The club has donated an estimated $ 5,000 over the past three school years, according to economics professor Mike Creeger.
There are around 20 members, from freshmen to seniors. The club hosted a business entrepreneurship meeting at Rusty Rail and pitched the idea to representatives from Mifflinburg High School, according to junior Janelle Callison.
They also arranged to make a presentation to representatives from Bloomsburg High School, she said.
“By extending it to other schools, it can hopefully have a bigger impact,” said junior Abby Gilger of the idea of expanding Club One beyond Lewisburg High.
Club One started as Club KIVA about eight years ago when a former student started using www.kiva.org, a crowdfunding micro-loan site. KIVA offers interest-free loans to approved borrowers in more than 80 countries who do not have access to equity loans. The loan is also offered in the United States to those who are considered financially excluded or who have a social impact in their communities.
Lenders like Lewisburg students can lend as little as $ 25. The club started with $ 250 and loaned around $ 950 over the years as the funds were paid back, Creeger said. The loan activity is used in classroom lessons.
Club One has evolved with students raising funds at school and making local donations to those in need. Students have started small fundraisers over the years, such as penny drives, whoopie pie sales, and the ongoing sale of chocolate covered pretzels. They give what they collect as and when needed.
A farmer whose barn burned down received money, according to junior Macy Brown. The same goes for the family of a young boy injured in a farming accident, she said. Approximately $ 400 raised at a dodge ball tournament was donated to recovery efforts following a hurricane in Puerto Rico.
Some funds were spent on toys last Christmas for children admitted to Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Club One members also delivered wooden toys developed and created by Blake Dutweiler’s technology education students – paddleball sets, airplanes and elephants, cameras, and toolboxes and tools, among other creations.
Club One hosted a joint volleyball tournament with Montgomery Area High School and raised around $ 1,200 for a beloved Lycoming County school teacher diagnosed with cancer.
Lewisburg students deposited the check at Montgomery High.
“It was really cool to be able to see where the money was going,” Brown said.
“Part of their class was there. You could just tell they loved him so much, ”added Gilger.
“It was really touching to see two different communities coming together,” said Callison. “Even though we are apart, we are still one.”