When it comes to helping others, 14-year-old Teddy Cooper is thinking outside the box, all the way to Africa.
This 8-t8thgrader at St. Paul School in Wellesley has been raising thousands of dollars to help educate and feed orphans in the Central African Republic.
“Not everybody has the same opportunities as us, so I started thinking about it, and everything differently,” Teddy said.
Teddy began his fundraising efforts after meeting visiting priest Father Benjamin Ubi, a missionary with the Society of African Missions.
“He started talking about his orphans. I could understand his burden and how much this must have weighed down on him, taking care of 400 orphans just by himself,” Teddy said.
When teddy heard his story, he knew he had to do something.
“I got on to an idea, what if I sold bookmarks at mass? The first year I did it was two years ago, and I raised $2000, which was pretty big,” Teddy said.
Teddy sold enough bookmarks to send 19 children to school for an entire year.
Next, he began selling bracelets, and so far, he has raised enough money to buy 25 hundred meals for the orphanage.
“Every meal makes a huge difference. One bracelet will feed a child for an entire day, for 2 U.S. dollars,” Jennifer Cooper, Teddy’s mom said.
Teddy said he is grateful for his life here in America, but is always thinking of his friends in Africa.
“I got this great school, I got many great friends, and not everyone has that,” he said.
Teddy said he wants to continue his fundraiser in high school and then possibly pass it on to someone at the school younger than him.