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Tuesday, November 15, 2005 | Students at Chesterton Elementary School attended an assembly Monday to start off “Raise-It-Forward,” a program designed to simultaneously raise money for their school and for San Diego homeless children.

“It’s a completely different way to go about fund-raising,” said Laura Vitale, project coordinator, “it’s socially aware.”

Unlike traditional school fund-raisers, students sell a donation of $10 to $30 that is used to purchase items such as backpacks, books and other school supplies to be given directly to underprivileged children in San Diego.

Half of the donated money goes to Chesterton Elementary, and half will go to San Diego’s Hope Region of nonprofit schools which include the Monarch School, The Bridge, YWCA School and Toussaint Academy. Raise America actually delivers the packs of donated school supplies to schools like the Monarch School, which offers an accredited education as well as care and basic needs for poverty-stricken, San Diego children.

Raise America, an organization co-founded by Doron Malka, created Raise-It-Forward to improve the quality of fund raising programs for schools. This is the first full-scale campaign of Raise-It-Forward by Raise America, and the aim is to run the program nationwide.

“Schools need money, but they don’t need to go against parent’s values by selling candy or by offering prizes,” Malka said. “This way, kids can say they helped other kids.”

“Today you are changing the way fund-raising happens,” Malka told Chesterton students. “You are helping kids like you who cannot afford books and school supplies.”

Raise-It-Forward coordinators emphasize the program’s focus on social responsibility, and the idea that the students participating are involved in something special.

“The children at Chesterton Elementary are getting the knowledge and the pride that they are helping other children,” said Vitale. “Their reward is the giving.”

For more information on Raise America and the Raise-It-Forward program, please visit

Please contact Molly Bettiga directly at

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