Edmond students at Santa Fe High School start their annual charity fundraiser week on Monday, February 18. This year, the students chose to raise money for the Care Center, which helps abused children.
The school had no idea the non-profit agency they chose had saved the life of one of their current students until she came forward and told them after the decision.
The Care Center helps children who have been abused tell their stories and get the help they need.
Years ago, the center helped a girl named Haley Jones and she is now ready to share her story. The Santa Fe High School sophomore is thrilled the non-profit chosen for this year's Double Wolf Dare Week fundraising campaign is the Care Center.
“It's really exciting to me because whenever I was younger, that's the organization I went through,” Jones said.
The Care Center is the non-profit agency that helped Jones when she revealed in 2007 that a relative had sexually abused her. The man pleaded guilty to six counts of child sex abuse and was sentenced to prison.
The Care Center helps abused children with the interview process, counseling services and medical exams. All of the services are free, which Jones’ mother said was a huge help for their family.
Santa Fe High School staff knew students would connect to the Care Center's mission and want to support it. However, Jones’ connection was a shocker when she revealed it to them after the Care Center was the chosen charity.
“We had no idea it would be a student who went to the Care Center, had those services from the actual center that we are giving all of our money to and it's just awesome,” said Shelby Wright, a Santa Fe teacher and the student council sponsor.
Jones said she wants others to know what she went through is more common than they realize. She spoke to her family and decided she wants to share her story with the entire student body so more people can be helped by the Care Center and the services it provides.
“She just kept telling me how brave I was,” Jones said. “It just made me feel really good and it made me want to tell my story and help someone else out,” she added.
Jones will speak at a school assembly on Monday, the first day of Double Wolf Dare Week.
“I don't think I would be as happy as I am today without the Care Center,” Jones told News 9.
Santa Fe High School students are hoping to raise $150,000 for the Care Center.