Africare News Release
April 28 "Walk for Africa" organizer Ceire McMullen (right), with another young volunteer, along the walk's route.
DREAMING BIG: Pennsylvania Girl, 11, Organized April 28 Walkathon to Help African Children
POTTSTOWN, PA, April 28, 2007 — Eleven-year old Ceire McMullen is no stranger to raising money: in fact, she’s almost a pro, with more than 10 charity fundraisers under her belt. But on April 28, Ceire hosted her first fundraiser for Africa: a walkathon to raise money to help children in Africa, through Africare. And she pulled together her home town of Doughlassville, Pennsylvania, to do it — raising several hundred dollars to benefit this vital cause.
At age 8, Ceire organized her first charity fundraiser after hearing about the victims of the devastating tsunami that made landfall in Sri Lanka in 2004. She traveled from door to door around her neighborhood, expressing her goal to raise money for tsunami victims. At the end of her neighborhood campaign, she’d collected $100 in donations.
“She’s always been very ambitious and very caring,” noted Ceire’s mother, Traci Marrison.
Traci was not surprised when Ceire approached her with a proposition: “Have your employer match the donations raised through my neighborhood collections.” Her mother’s employer did just that. So between the workplace and the community, Ceire raised a total of $200 to aid victims of the tsunami — all at age 8.
The Walk for Africa Idea
Ceire’s fundraiser idea for Africa began with a similar desire to help. She began looking for a way to reach out to children on the continent. Through the Internet, she began researching different ways to help. It wasn’t long before she clicked on the Africare Web site and learned how this D.C.-based nonprofit organization was working to aid orphans and vulnerable children in Africa. It seemed like the perfect match, she later said.
Ceire went to work immediately, determined to make her vision a reality. She mapped out her fundraising project, created flyers, held meetings and gave presentations to her community to increase awareness about her cause. There were successes and setbacks during the process, but she never let her determination falter.
“Every mile we walk helps a child in Africa,” stated Ceire before the 5-mile event. “I can’t think of anything better to do on a Saturday afternoon.”
The result: Ceire’s successful Walk for Africa was held on Saturday, April 28, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. At the end of the day, Ceire and her community raised $286 to benefit Africa’s orphans and vulnerable children. All proceeds were donated to Africare and will be used in programs that center around the health and well-being of Africa’s children affected by HIV/AIDS.
Africare salutes the contributions of students and youth-led organizations in the U.S. and abroad, and the important mark they have made on the African continent. More than $25,000 in donations has been raised for Africare programs by educational institutions and student-led organizations since January 2006. The contributions made by those groups have dug wells, assisted orphans and helped raise the standard of living for entire communities in Africa. The generosity of today’s children and youth are an important asset to Africare and its ability to achieve its mission: together, we will continue to improve the quality of life for the people in Africa.