NP teen turns school project into donations to help SVA

By: 
John Mueller, news@newpraguetimes.com

Alaina Bishop turned $100 into $2,000 and, with a matching grant from Otto Bremer Trust, $4,000 to help Southern Valley Alliance with its capital campaign to fund a new facility in Shakopee. The New Prague teenager researched and prepared a presentation to solicit donations earlier this fall. (Submitted photo)

In a small village in South Sudan, a plaque on a well is evidence of a New Prague girl’s willingness to help people she’s never met with the most basic of life’s necessities. Closer to home, Alaina Bishop has helped people with another of life’s most elementary needs.

As an elementary school student three years ago, Bishop, the daughter of Dara and Dan Bishop, helped raise $5,000 to fund a $15,000 well to provide people 7,400- plus miles away the water they need to survive. Now an eighth-grader, she worked to turn a $100 donation through a travel company into $4,000 designed to help Southern Valley Alliance pay a small portion of its debt on a new $1.8 million headquarters to better serve area residents who struggle with life under the fear of domestic violence.

“When she gets something in her mind, she’s going to find a way,” Dara Bishop said.

This fall, two of Alaina Bishop’s teachers at New Prague Middle School challenged select students to make the best use of a $100 donation to the school from a travel company to make the community better. Rather than just make a simple donation to a worthy organization, the 13-year old eighth grader looked for a way to make a bigger difference.

Having heard her parents talk in passing about Southern Valley Alliance and seeing notices for domestic abuse help in bathroom stalls, Alaina did some research. Visiting Southern Valley’s website, she learned about how some people, mostly women, and their children struggle each day to get through a day never knowing if they will be threatened by...

To see more on this story pick up the February 8, 2024 print edition of The New Prague Times. 

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