Sophomore Ida Des Jardins is January’s PeaceJam Voice
Peace Jam Members: (left to right) Nathaniel Domina, Django Grace, Paige Renaud, Teagan Thurber, Ida DesJardins
Here at Brattleboro Union High School, we have a club called Peace Jam. We study the work of Nobel peace laureates and work to promote peace in our community. We are grateful to be backed by the Windham World Affairs Council; they are a great asset to us, providing informational, financial, and networking support.
Expanding on some of the work we have done as a club, last spring, we launched a community bike drive (which we hope will become an annual project). Our goal was to encourage the use of green transportation, as well as provide those in need with a way to get around. The drive was a major success and really got the ball rolling for future projects to come. Recently, in late November, we held a holiday fundraiser for the Women’s Freedom Center. The fundraiser was completely student led, and the whole concept was conceived by me and my friend Paige Renaud; she is also a member of the club.
Initially we just launched the idea to Peace Jam, thinking it was a cool thought, but not fully aware of how quickly things would gather speed. Everyone in the club was in support of the idea, and so from there, we reached out to the Women’s Freedom Center. They approved our proposition and they were really happy to collaborate with us. Within about two weeks, we managed to throw the entire plan together, creating advertising, spreading the word about our cause to local businesses, and setting up donation sites at both the high school and the Brattleboro Food Co-op. The whole thing was a complete success. We received over $600 in cash donations, $220 in giftcard donations (a special thanks to Whippersnappers for the majority of that), as well as lots and lots of kids and women’s clothing.
While tabling at the co-op, we got to meet and talk to and variety of different people, many of whom were really interested in what we were doing. One woman was a small business owner who was so intrigued that she offered to donate some of her products (skin & body care products) to our drive.
The whole thing really shows what you can do if you put your mind to it and remain persistent. Our club has lots of plans for the future and we are very excited to continue forth.