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Lexington preschoolers help raise over $30,000 for Ukrainian relief in just 10 days

Lexington, SC 03/17/2022 (Paul Kirby) – Preschool students at the Big Blue Marble Academy in Lexington pitched in to do their part to raise over $30,000 for relief of the people of Ukraine after their country was invaded by the Russian military late last month. This cause was so important to the children because Nan Rikard, Founder of Big Blue Marble Academy (BBMA) in 2012, has a deep, personal connection to philanthropy, stemming from her 8-year commitment to the Children's Charity Center in Ukraine. From hosting orphaned children from the area to her own daughter's adoption, she used her over 30-year career in early childhood care to share that passion with the children at BBMA through Heart Projects.

In an effort to raise funds via the nonprofit launched by Rikard in 2014, Global Children's Outreach, to support the Children's Charity Center during this time of critical need, BBMA has launched the Give from the Heart fundraiser that ran from March 4 - 11 to provide urgent support to Ukrainian children.

"This is a great cause of people helping people during this tumultuous time," said Jeff Wahl, CEO of BBMA. "We can all learn a lot through empathy, understanding, and giving to others in need. I am very proud of our Heart Projects, especially because our students learn at an early age that they have the ability to solve real-world problems and make meaningful contributions to the lives of others, helping them to grow into good neighbors and involved citizens with big hearts."

An important aspect of BBMA's whole-child focus is taught through service learning—hands-on, real-life, global- and cause-focused Heart Projects, which are integrated into BBMA's researched and play-based global curriculum. Through the brands' annual Blessing Blanket Heart Project, BBMA students hand make no-sew blankets to provide love, security, warmth, and comfort to children across the globe, with children from the Children's Charity Center as the main beneficiary. In 2021, BBMA students sold over $218,000 in cookie dough for the Cookies for a Cause Heart Project, with proceeds donated to the Children's Charity Center.

This year, BBMA celebrates 10-years of Nurturing Little Minds and Growing Big Hearts to ensure children are cognitively, socially, and emotionally prepared for kindergarten and beyond. Through its emphasis on global awareness and concentration on character development through Heart Projects, BBMA continues to grow students to be confident, compassionate members of society.

To donate to BBMA's Give from the Heart fundraiser benefiting the orphanage in Ukraine, please visit For more information about BBMA, please visit


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