Summit Elementary School
Pennies and quarters at a time, students from Wilson Elementary, Summit Elementary, and Nagel Middle School collected nearly $7,000 in change to purchase holiday gifts for more than 200 needy local families who participate in Beech Acres Parenting Center programs. They bought their presents at the Anderson Target store last week and I had so much fun taking their pictures. It was part of the Shop & Share Holiday Project, a Beech Acres Parenting Center tradition. Forest Hills students and Beech Acres supporters raise money and shop for families facing financial hardships.
“For every $100 that the students donate, we are able to help another family. It’s been so exciting for them each morning when we announce how many families they’ve helped that day,” said Jen Schlosser, who coordinated the school fund-raising efforts. “The kids are surprised and humbled by all the things that people are asking for.”
An estimated 205 Beech Acres families will receive gifts this year. Now that is a good thing!
What a pleasure it was to accompany Patrick Nugent, vice president of development for Beech Acres Parenting Center, when Anderson Township students at Summit Elementary School presented him with a check. Such eager fundraisers! I couldn’t help but capture them on video too. Below is the write-up I did for Beech Acres and below that is a video that you’ve got to watch.
Five young enterprising philanthropists at Summit Elementary School decided one day they wanted to pool their talents to help a worthy cause. Together, fourth graders Payton Egan, Ali Madden, Lauren Arnold, Tori Madden and Jessie Headley approached their school counselor and crafted a written proposal. Their counselor connected them with school librarian Tonya Swisshelm, who had already decided to participate in the One for Books program in order to raise money for a chosen cause. This program allows schools to accept donations and use them to their choosing while Scholastic matches the amount collected and purchases books for needy children. It was a great fit to have the girls promote this program among students.
In that moment, Payton, Ali, Lauren, Tori and Jessie became organizers and promoters. Their cause was Beech Acres Parenting Center, an Anderson-based nonprofit that helps to strengthen families for children. The girls made signs that they posted around school and gave daily morning announcements to all of their peers. During the book fair, they were responsible for counting the money and posting the names of all of their donors on a hallway bulletin board.
It was a big job with a big lesson in giving back. On December 1, the Summit Elementary philanthropists handed a check to Beech Acres Vice President of Development, Patrick Nugent, for $115.50. The girls kept thanking Patrick for accepting the gift, proving the key lesson that it feels great to give!