“I don’t want people to forget.”
That is what Georgie, a middle school student in San Mateo, found herself thinking when she was asked to explore topics for a two-year-learning project at school. As her friends explored starting a catering business or learning how to train pets, Georgie wondered how she could share about a topic close to her own heart—the Holocaust.
When asked why she chose the Holocaust for her project, Georgie explained that people learn about the six million Jews and 6 million others who were killed in the Holocaust but they “can’t really understand how big that number is.” She “wanted to do something to give people an idea and raise awareness.”
To do that, Georgie decided to collect pennies, which would be donated at the end of the project.
Over two years, she exceeded her goal of collecting 60,000 pennies, amassing about 98,000 pennies—nearly $1000, which was matched by her dad’s employer.
Georgie enlisted her mother, Susan, to help spread the word about this meaningful project. Susan posted about it on NextDoor and with different community groups. Their temple shared it in religious school newsletters. At school, Georgie displayed her collection of pennies, shared the project in classrooms, and updated her peers regularly. Once the project was up and running, it was very popular –the students at Georgie’s school continued to give and display the pennies until the end of the school year, weeks after her final presentation.
Beyond the impressive amount of money she fundraised, Georgie also became a leader in Holocaust education in her community. She expanded her knowledge through interviewing a Holocaust survivor, visiting Holocaust Museum LA, and participating in her local Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) commemoration.
What’s next for the remarkable Georgie? She wants to keep learning about the Holocaust.
“I liked learning the details—all the survivor stories are so different.” Georgie is also an avid golfer, so perhaps she’ll set her sights on playing and fundraising for next year’s Peninsula Jewish Community Golf Classic to raise even more money for expanding Holocaust education.
Thank you, Georgie, for your leadership and dedication to this important work!