Sister Schools provides Puget Sound students with a global experience in personal philanthropy. We teach compassion, service, and social responsibility by partnering students in donor schools with children in need. In a powerfully personal way, our students learn that no matter who they are, what they look like, or how wealthy they are, they have the ability to change someone’s life.
Our program is designed to empower local elementary school students to change the world. After learning about life and school in Uganda, they are given the opportunity to provide scholastic materials to a partner school through a two week supply drive.
We ship the supplies donated in Seattle directly to Uganda, to share with our partner schools there. For families struggling just to put food on the table, school supplies can be impossible to come by, and it is very rare for schools there to provide supplies for student’s use. Without the basics, it is challenging for students to pursue and education. But with the gift of pencils, books and more from Seattle, Ugandan students can stay in school and pursue their dreams.
After delivering these gifts in Uganda, we complete the circle of transformation by returning to our local Seattle schools to show their impact. When students see photos of their donated items in the hands of their peers in Uganda, and the accompanying bright smiles, they instantly understand the difference they’ve made, and are inspired to continue changing the world.
Sister Schools began after founder Terry McGill traveled to Uganda in 1988, after the country had be wreaked by decades of dictatorship and civil war. While there, he witnessed the incredible selflessness and generosity of Ugandan teachers and children.
Most memorably, he observed a young boy receive a new pair of shorts and immediately gift them to another child. He gave away the only gift he had ever received because there was someone who needed it more. Terry thought to himself:
“This boy has just done more for another person in this moment than I have done in my entire life. If I really am the person I want to be, what should I do?”
After returning to Seattle, Terry had the opportunity to share about his experience at two local Elementary Schools... and Sister Schools was born!
Local students felt called to take action, and Terry watched in awe as he witnessed the same type of generosity in Seattle as he’d just seen in Uganda.
Today, Sister Schools has grown to partner with dozens schools in Seattle and in Uganda, transforming thousands of lives over the past 35 years.