Creativity inspires Langley girl’s fundraising

One could think of Indiana Bateman as a kind of Donald Trump, only shorter, with a love of art, a conscience, and better hair.

The Grade 6 student at Alex Hope Elementary is proving that business acumen can be use to change lives.

She chose to write a business proposal for a school assignment in her enrichment program, on greeting card production.

Business plan done. School assignment completed. Indiana even came up with a slogan – “Art for Art and Heart for Heart.”

Submit the assignment to the teacher and move on, right?

Not for Indiana. She’s bringing her business plan to fruition and using greeting cards to fundraise so children in Africa can have art supplies.

“I want to make a difference in people’s lives,” Indiana said.

She even went to the extent of gathering investors to provide capital for start-up. (They’re also known as mom, dad, the grandparents, and a great grandparent).

She’s established a contingent of talent (aka a half dozen or so fellow students who are each creating cards) and had them sign contracts to produce a certain amount of stock.

“My team is so awesome,” Indiana said. “We each make three cards a week.”

And now she’s ready to go to market.

On Feb. 11 and 12, the cards will be for sale in the school lobby, 21150 85th Ave., from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and the public is invited to stop by for the sale. The cards will be $5 for three (a birthday, a get well and a thank you card).

By the time of the sale, there will be about 120 cards and no two are the same.

“I let them use what they wanted,” she said of the classmates who made cards. “And they turned out really well.”

If all sell, that’s $200 for the cause.

The money will be used to buy art supplies which a family friend will deliver to children in Rwanda. (If any art supply store wants to help Indiana with a discount, they can contact Nadean Vonk, her resource teacher, at the school at 604-888-7109.)

Vonk said it’s not uncommon for teachers to see students who are gung-ho about a philanthropic project and either get in over their heads or try to do something too grand, too fast.

“Indie defied that and made it manageable,” she said.

Indiana plans to keep going.

“Next year when I’m in Grade 7, I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep it going and hope to expand it and create more cards,” she said.

She and the other students in her enrichment group will be using the card business plan for their Destination Imagination project in the Brand Aid category at a Feb. 28 competition.

There’s also plans afoot for T-shirts with a logo that she’s drawn, again, a source of revenue to help the cause.

But in the end, she’s still a kid and doesn’t miss out on all the stuff kids like to do, it’s just that she wants to help others enjoy creating art like she does.

“I still do all those other things but I’m also into the stuff that actually does something to change people’s lives,” Indiana said.

As for the future, there’s no guarantees Indiana Bateman will head into a career in business. She’s been interested in being everything from a school principal to a midwife.

“When I grow up, my job that I want to do basically changes every few minutes,” she said.

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