Building Bridges
Published in

Building Bridges

From Beads to Books (and more)

Poster — “Thank you BTF Volunteers for the gifts”

Overview of the Project

Two months ago, I started a fundraiser through Bridge to Türkiye (BTF) for Eczacı Meryem Karaçaylı Elementary School (EMK), an elementary school holding great importance to me and my family in Turkey.

Like many schools in rural areas of Turkey, they are neglected, and opportunities for students are limited. Most families’ income came from farming, meaning students got less support in school and had to help at home or in the field. To give students new items to use while learning, I sold bead bracelets, necklaces, and other accessories sent here by my family.

The goal was to raise $300 to get the “Book4Kids” kit, which contains 135 engaging books. We also had a second goal of raising $500 for the “Sports4Kids” kit (bit.ly/About_Sports4Kids). EMK Elementary School has been undergoing construction, so they needed these kits more than ever.

The number of donors and supporters who shared fundraising information was more than I could have imagined!

We reached our first goal of $300 during the first few days of the fundraiser! By the beginning of May, we were able to send the Book4Kids kit to the school.

We got so many donations within the first month we exceeded the “Sports4Kids” goal too!

In addition to the other goals, I had hoped to get enough donations to buy the “SpecialCare4Kids” kit, but I did not get my hopes up too high. EMK Elementary School is where all autistic students throughout Samandağ are sent to get an education, but these students do not have access to the materials they need to learn. Resources to help them learn visually and kinesthetically are inaccessible and expensive, especially in Turkey. I am proud to say that with support from everyone, we have managed to get enough donations to buy a “SpecialCare4Kids” kit! Since the school year has ended, the “Sports4Kids” and “SpecialCare4Kids” kits will be sent at the start of the next school year to bring a smile to students, their teachers, and family's faces.

Special Thanks

“I would like to thank the BTF Volunteers on behalf of my students at Eczacı Meryem Karaçaylı Elementary School for the beautiful books they have sent to our students. Our students started to read those books, which consists of carefully selected books, with great admiration. These books will be beneficial for our students.”
Serhan Eryilmaz — Teacher

The principal of Eczacı Meryem Karaçaylı Elementary School giving me a tour of the school

“My cousins attend this school — along with their friends and other relatives. This will not only impact students’ school lives but will bring happiness to families in the Yeşilada neighborhood of Samandag. Thank you to all of those who supported me, it was beyond my expectations and I appreciate your contributions!.”
Helin Taskesen — Organizer of Fundraiser

More photos will be uploaded once the kits are sent next school year.

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