Brothers benefiting others
February 20, 2008
Three brothers – Ecker Hill International Middle School sixth-grader Charlie Hasley, McPolin Elementary School fifth-grader Tommy Hasley and McPolin third-grader Duncan Hasley – got out their flashlights, telephones and negotiating skills during the Sundance Film Festival to raise money for charities by parking cars in their driveway.
This is the second year the boys have used their entrepreneurial talents for the benefit of others. Charlie said he got the idea from a neighbor who parked cars during the festival to earn money for himself. The boys approached their dad, John, about the idea, but he was hesitant.
"I turned them down at first," he said. "But then I broke down and said ‘You can park cars, but you have to give half the money to charity."
The boys said they didn’t want any of the money, they just thought it would be fun to do. "I always wanted to donate all of the money because I don’t really have any need for it," Charlie said.
Last year, the boys earned $1,503 – all of which they donated to the Men of McPolin. John, who was at that time the president, and is now the treasurer of the organization, said the money went to several different projects the Men of McPolin funded last year like an art kiln, teachers grants, and headsets to help English Language Learner parents participate by translating school meetings and events.
John said that one of the reasons they started the Men of McPolin was to be able to use donated money – like the funds from his sons – without the restrictions that organizations like the Parent-Teacher Organizations (PTO) have.
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"People look to the Men of McPolin for help because we don’t really have to answer to anybody," he said. "People donate money and we can use it however we want."
Charlie said he really supports what the Men of McPolin do, which is why about $1,000 of the money he and his brothers raised this year – a total of about $2,223 – went to the organization again this year.
Charlie wanted another $1,000 to go toward BEACON, an organization dedicated to improving the conditions of communities in Africa. He said he was inspired by his teacher, Guy Sanderson, and the director of BEACON, Dan Zambrano, to donate the money to that cause.
"I just thought that the Kenyan kids’ cause was really amazing," he said. "It was just knowing how we’re so fortunate and how people in Kenya are not as fortunate, that they would use pencils down to the numb and a piece of paper would last them a year."
Zambrano said, "I was just floored by this." He said the money will go toward buying supplies for school kits, which the students at Ecker Hill will put together and Zambrano will hand deliver to children in Kenya.
John said he’s unsure what the Men of McPolin will do with this year’s $1,000. "There’s constant stuff we’re working on funding," he said. The organization recently donated $2,000, which was matched, equaling $4,000, for McPolin’s art program.
They are also looking at funding an after-school program and upcoming summer camps. "It’s been an evolving process," he said. "Between the [Park City] Education Foundation and the PTO and community council, we don’t want to work outside the bounds of everyone else. We want to work together."
John added that he hopes his sons continue parking cars as they grow up, "at least for a couple more years."
"It’s just so much fun for them," he said. "And it’s great knowing that it goes to a couple good causes."