Starting somewhere.


by Valerie Carnevale, VP of Fundraising at the Building Tomorrow Chapter at Ball State University
(link to original

I was driving home today, listening to the radio, and I heard this interesting fact: “$21 million was spent on Halloween candy this year.” I don’t know if that’s just in America, or worldwide, but I am floored.


Through Building Tomorrow, we can build and outfit a classroom of a school for $6,000. $21 million will build and outfit 3,500 classrooms.

three thousand and five hundred classrooms.

I don’t know exactly how many kids there are to a classroom in these Ugandan schools. I know that in my elementary school, there were about 25. So let’s go with that.

If we take the money that was spent on Halloween candy this year, and put it towards building schools for under-served kids in Africa, we could build 3,500 classrooms. At 25 kids to a classroom, that’s 87,500 kids under a school roof that weren’t before.

That is almost three times as many kids as are currently enrolled in the Indianapolis Public School system, pre-k through high school grade 12.

What happens when you give a child a chance at education who would otherwise have none? They learn basic skills, hygiene and nutrition, which cut down on things like disease and malnourishment. They learn to read and write, they give shape to their dreams, they are given a path.

I believe children are the key to changing the future. We have to believe in them. That’s what it comes down to.

We have to believe in them.

Building Tomorrow is doing just that. Building Tomorrow is saying, as college students a world away, we believe in you. We know you can do it. We want you to do it. There is a fantastic quote tacked to my bulletin board that goes like this, “And even if the world should end tomorrow, I will plant my seed today.”

Sometimes, the world seems overwhelming. I am in college. I slept maybe 13 hours this week combined. 100% of my grocery budget went towards coffee, and in a moment of weakness, I bought a pair of boots for $40, which would probably feed a Haitian child for a month. Sometimes, the weight of the world on my shoulders feels like too much. There are environment issues and the hole in the ozone layer and the water crisis and the tiger population is dwindling and there are still people living on the streets in New Orleans 6 years after Katrina and there is starvation and such poverty even here in our own country and there’s always more more more that tugs on our heart strings and, if you’re anything like me, it can leave you feeling so burdened, so defeated. Sometimes it feels like anything we do is just a drop in the bucket.

But the bucket would be less without that drop.

I cannot hop on the next plane to Africa and go get my hands dirty for the next 6 months in a little village. I cannot physically, brick by brick, build a school. But Building Tomorrow gives me a chance to realistically, tangibly, and no less importantly, change the world. Change lives of hundreds, thousands, of kids who’ve never been told hey little man, little princess, we believe in you. Be an astronaut, be a doctor. You can be whatever you want to be.

Building Tomorrow lets me build their schools from hundreds of thousands of miles away through my time, where I’m at, on my campus, through my simple act of caring. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We have a long journey ahead of us, changing a world is going to take awhile, but I’d love if you’d join us in this first step.

Come hang out with us Monday night in Letterman 125 at 6:30 at our callout meeting and world-changing kickoff. Let’s build tomorrow together, one step at a time.

Val, VP of Fundraising

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