North Gives Back: Choosing a BALTO Charity

Chloe Golightly, North Staff Writer

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Pictured above by Lindsey Crouch, from left: BALTO chairs Katie Cheap, Allie Rice, and Madeline Minnix

 

Every year, North’s “Bring A Light To Others” (BALTO) chairpeople go through an extensive process of choosing the philanthropy event’s fund-raising recipient.

To be considered, each potential recipient has to fill out a form on www.baltoweek.org that includes questions like when their organization was founded, how they will positively impact the lives of Oklahomans if chosen, and how North students can be involved with the organization.

In the past, BALTO donated to organizations that help child cancer patients, brain tumor patients, special education students, premature babies and many more.

BALTO week on Feb. 6-10 is a week full of student-led activities that raise money to donate to the chosen charity. Such activities include assemblies during school, night activities (dances, movie nights, etc.), Northstock (battle of the bands), sales (t-shirts, pizza, sweets, etc.), collecting money at school and much more.

The teacher sponsor of BALTO, Brian Hunter, has certain projects that he alone works on, such as scheduling, purchasing, and working with each event chair, as well as the three main BALTO chairs, to make sure the events go smoothly. The students, however, do the bulk of the planning, organizing, working, decorating and fundraising.

Hunter said BALTO looks for non-profit organizations that can make a positive impact in Oklahoma.

“We consider all sorts of factors when selecting a philanthropy,” Hunter said. “How much are their annual operating expenses? How will donated funds be spent? Does the charity help children? How can the charity connect with the student body at ENHS? These are just a few of the considerations we have when evaluating charities that apply for BALTO.”

One of BALTO’s chairs, junior Allie Rice, said the chairs pick a charity by having the recipients fill out an application to get a grasp on what the organization does and what they have to offer the student body in terms of volunteer opportunities.

“After we sort through the applications, we go on interviews with the organization and eventually narrow down our choices until we (as well as the student council) decide on one,” Rice said.

Another BALTO chairperson, Senior Katie Cheap, said they have many events that North puts on each year, but they love to come up with new ideas based on what the student body wants to participate in.

“We listen to the feedback from students in what they want to see in a recipient and try to find a charity that fits what they would like,” Cheap said.

Though there are many charities to pick from, BALTO will pick a charity that will provide partnership and good volunteer opportunities as well as keeping the money raised local to help the chosen recipient.

Find out more about the Childrens Hospital Volunteers at: http://www.volunteeratchildrens.org/

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