Money for Miracles: Boonsboro Elementary Students

Money for Miracles
by Jennifer LB Leese

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many organizations and individuals are focusing their efforts on raising money, gathering everyday needs such as medications, food, water, toiletries and collecting toys and clothing for the survivors. Their efforts will bring normalcy into these people's lives.
The children from Boonsboro Elementary School decided to help. After learning about natural disasters and Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Paige Fishack and her fifth grade homeroom class started brainstorming. "The kids said, 'What can we do?'" said Ms. Fishack. "They wanted to donate clothes, food, and toys, but we talked about that and said that that's not necessarily an option because of shipping the items to them. So they decided to collect change.
"They came up with the idea for Money for Miracles." They pitched their idea to Principal Woods. From there they negotiated on what school prizes would be. Pizza parties would be set up for a classroom in each grade level that raised the most money. On top of that if the school raised $6,000 he would wear pink hair to school on Friday, September 23. If they raised $7,000 he would wear a chicken suit during lunches. Little did he know that he'd be sporting neon pink hair under a bright, fuzzy yellow chicken suit!
The drive began on September 9 and ended on September 19. The children hung signs throughout the school, decorated jars (which they collected from home) and set them in every classroom (which they collected and counted every morning), and encouraged fellow students to raise money for the relief fund every morning on the morning announcements. The school made up flyers that were sent home with each student and kept a chart in the front of the school so the kids could see exactly how much money was raised every day.
The class said that they'd never counted so much money.
"The kids donated birthday money and allowances; they really dug deep," said Ms. Fishack.
On Friday, September 23, 2005, Ms. Fishack and her students met with Julie Barr-Strasburg, the executive director of the American Red Cross, Washington County Chapter and handed over a large (class-made) check for $11,155.21! Tears filled every eye.
Mr. Woods was there--hidden under the ugliest chicken this reporter has ever seen!
The children collected on most days over $1,000.00 and the last day of the drive, they collected over $2,000. "Children really can do incredible things when they set their minds to it!" said the proud Ms. Fishack.
"I think it was a good example of what one idea could do," said Ms. Barr-Strasburg. "They have a giving spirit." She went on to tell the students that they should be proud of themselves. "You did a good thing."
The students from Boonsboro Elementary School have learned a valuable lesson in community spirit and how great it feels to help others. I'm positive this is something they'll never forget.