The Dollars for Darfur program launched its third-annual competition challenging middle- and high-school students across the U.S. to raise money to combat genocide in Darfur.
The goal for the competition, which ends April 30, 2009, is $200,000.
Nick Anderson and Ana Slavin, students at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Mass., created the program in 2006.
Since then, Dollars for Darfur has raised more than $450,000 for advocacy and humanitarian aid.
Anderson and Slavin used social networking sites to recruit over 2,000 participating schools.
“Today, this simple idea is playing a vital role in energizing and engaging thousands of other students across the country to advocate on behalf of the Darfuri people,” Ashley Roberts, spokeswoman for the Save Darfur Coalition, says in a statement.
The Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of more than 180 faith-based advocacy and human-rights organizations, administers the Dollars for Darfur program.
Participating schools have raised funds by hosting dodge ball tournaments, organizing talent shows and lobbying local governments.
Each year, student representatives from the top 10 fundraising schools get a free trip to Washington, D.C., to lobby elected officials in Congress.
Student groups can register for the competition on the Dollars for Darfur website.