FARMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — Thousands of students across Minnesota have been collecting coins since last fall with one thought in mind: They want to help build schools for children in other countries who have no access to education.

The project started after We Day at the Xcel Energy Center in October. That big concert, put on by Free the Children, rewards kids for their volunteer work and inspires them to do more.

On Tuesday, students from Farmington Public Schools presented a check for $6,268 to Bremer Bank in South St. Paul. The money — which came from coin collecting — will go to Free the Children to help build a school in a rural village in Kenya.

“It is amazing to be part of a change, it just makes you feel good every night and every day. Going to bed and knowing you are changing people’s lives…just wonderful,” said Mattu Kelly, a junior at Farmington High School.

Free the Children is also building wells across Kenya, so that girls don’t have to spend their days hauling water for miles. It’s work that has prevented many girls from going to school.

“It’s something that can change if we bring education and we bring resources,” said Jason Lansing, a junior at Farmington High School. “It’s not because they don’t want girls to get educated, it’s that they don’t have the opportunity yet.”

He’s spending two months in Kenya this summer to help build the school.

“Just every day, it’s an affirmation that I can make a difference, and that I can empower other people to be powerful,” he said.

The students in Farmington have actually raised more money than Tuesday’s big check showed. Their current total is more than $8,800. They are trying to reach a goal of $10,000 by Monday.

Bremer Bank branches across Minnesota are accepting donations until end of the academic school year.


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