What Are We Thankful For?

What are we thankful for?

Thankful For… Donors

We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of our Spitler School donor community and their loyal support during our end of 2023 campaign. Every donation received, no matter the amount, makes a huge impact. But we wanted to recognize some Super Supporters who not only donated themselves but helped bring new donors into the Spitler School Foundation community.

  • Mark and Jean Miller created a Matching Donation challenge which matched $7500 in donations.
  • Samudd and Mealey Chhim, who introduced Spitler School to their friends and travel companions, encouraging them to consider a donation to the school.  AND, Samudd and Mealy wound up being our honored guests, by visiting school in late February.  

We are also extremely appreciative of John Pinette and his partner Kan, in their pivotal role in raising support for Stephen Mazujian Middle School. John and Kan have been involved with SMMS since its inception, have visited the campus many times, and continue to spearhead many fundraising efforts.  

We are also happy to facilitate funding for two major donors who have been instrumental in supporting the construction and the operations of the Nokorthom Community High School.

Thankful for… New Partnerships

In January we began a new partnership with GVI Charitable Programs. GVI Charitable Programs works to organize and provide expert volunteers for sustainable charitable projects worldwide. At Spitler Primary School, GVI volunteers provided training and support to our English teachers to enhance our current English Curriculum.

When asked to share her experience at Spitler School, GVI volunteer and recent University of Sheffield graduate from the UK, Catherine Fewster, stated:

“I was keen to make sure my time volunteering contributed to a greater aim of helping to improve children’s access to quality education worldwide. Not only do I feel I have fulfilled these intentions whilst volunteering at Spitler Primary School, but I have also learnt so much more from the staff and students. For example, by providing one-to-one support I have been able to discover students’ individual personalities and, as a result, learn how to adapt different teaching methods to ensure I could communicate my point more effectively.

It has also been a joy watching their English skills develop over the past month, to the point I could start having small conversations with them. Even for those whose English has not yet reached a conversational level, their warm and welcoming nature meant even non-verbal communication was a joy. The general eagerness, of both staff and students, to learn and develop their English skills has been inspiring and it has been a real pleasure working with them.”

~Catherine Fewster

We look forward to working with GVI Charitable Programs in the future.

Thankful for… Hardworking Volunteers

Roland Matus is a loyal and continuous member of the SSF community. He says that visiting the Spitler School eight years ago inspired him to start his own charitable organization, Education Can Change Lives. Earlier this year, Education Can Change Lives provided funds for several new desks for Spitler School. Roland then traveled to the school with friends and family (including his mother Imrene) and spent a day painting the new desks his organization donated.

We are always especially grateful for those who not only support the school financially but are willing to visit the school and roll up their sleeves for some hands-on involvement.

Ongoing Thanks to Thomas Lackner and Apellis Pharmaceuticals

Although it took several months to complete the complicated process of shipping and clearing customs, we received the final delivery of almost 100 used computers from the good people at Apellis Pharmaceuticals. Due to this generous gift, we are able to provide more students with computer training – a skill that many children in rural communities do not have the opportunity to learn.

Road Scholars Matching Generosity

We appreciate our long-standing relationship with the Road Scholar education travel organization, which regularly brings visitors to our schools to meet with our staff and learn about our programs. Many Road Scholars become regular donors after seeing the impact they can make in so many lives. Two recent Road Scholar visitors have stepped up to make an even more significant contribution to the students.

Mark and Jean Miller not only decided to fund a university scholarship for one of our former SMMS students, but they also wanted to donate to the Spitler School Foundation. They started a fundraising challenge and offered to match all donations received through December 15 up to $7500. The campaign is still on, and we are almost to the matching goal! Will you help us reach the finish line and double your impact?