Kids Helping Kids Worlds Away with Project Heart

January 15, 2024

We love to work and partner with teachers and organizations that share our vision to inspire kids to change the world through philanthropy and entrepreneurship. And often, through those partnerships, we watch our reach grow, and our impact deepens. That is exactly what happened through our partnership with Feed the Hungry.

Project Heart fell into the hands Susan Walterhouse, Strategic Partnership Director for Feed the Hungry, who saw an opportunity to utilize our resources in conjunction with a project the organization was running to help students here in the US get involved in giving back. 

“I got in touch with OtterCares in January of 2017 through a gift (Dollars for Doers grant) that an Otter employee had given to Feed the Hungry,” Susan said. “When I researched the organization, I wanted to reach out to learn more about the work they did and the curriculum they provided.”

Susan, a former educator who taught for 20 years, is no stranger to creating impact through education. In her role at Feed the Hungry, she works with strategic partnerships and helped create a program, “School to School”, that aims to connect US-based school children with schools and classrooms around the world to create meaningful relationships and enhance the learning environments of both classrooms.

After connecting with us about Project Heart, learning more about how the program was developed and hearing our vision for the program, Susan began recommended Project Heart to teachers that participated in the “School to School” program. “As a former educator, I appreciate that the curriculum was created by teachers and can be used in any setting with any degree of background educational knowledge – basically it is easy to implement.”

Feed the Hungry's Malawi project, through a partnership with Praise Ijalasi, provides chickens along with a chicken coop and food for children-headed homes. These children have lost both parents and are the sole provider for their families. The cost for a house for the chicken, two chickens, the feed and a rooster for one home is roughly $75.

Feed the Hungry reached out to teachers at a public charter school in the South Bend area of Indiana and challenged the classes to raise what they could of the $1,500 goal Feed the Hungry had set to feed 20 families. The teachers received the Project Heart materials and roughly 125 students began learning the fundamentals of philanthropy, how to use their 3T's and that they have the ability and power to make a difference and change the world.

Using the Project Heart framework, teachers created a project-based learning (PBL) experience for the students. The teachers posed the problem that Feed the Hungry was trying to solve in Malawi to students and encouraged them to learn about the country, the people and the culture to help them understand how using their 3T's can help others in need. The school then had a PBL Learning Night where each class had a "booth" that sold a product that the class created to help raise funds for their projects. Students created a wide variety of products, such as bookmarks, frames, candy and even lemonade! At the end of their fundraising activities, students raised over $320 for the Feed the Hungry Malawi project!

Through this collaborative project with Feed the Hungry, over 125 students learned the importance of not only giving back but of using their time, talent and treasure to make a difference not just in their communities but around the world.

Feeling inspired? Register to access all of the Project Heart resources for free today and connect your students to ways they can give back and make the world a better place!