Linda Shelley, who works at Vaughn Elementary School as a site coordinator for Communities In Schools of Peninsula noted, “We are a Title One school, so more than 50 percent of our kids are on free or reduced lunches.”
The school’s mascot is the Husky, and Shelley’s group of Husky Helpers decided to run a coin drive in May to support survivors of the Oso mudslide.
Shelley encountered a young second-grader carrying a large bag of change.
“He proudly told me he had emptied his piggy bank and was contributing all $34.60 of it,” Shelley said. “That is giving from the heart.”
While counting the money, Shelley found someone had donated six half-dollar coins, and others had given silver dollar coins.
“To kids,” Shelley said, “these coins are very special. I was almost in tears as I saw what these kids and families so willingly gave to help others. One teacher told me that a student of hers who has nothing of her own did yard work and earned $5. She donated it all.”
Last month, members of Carianne Ferencik’s second grade class won the school’s competition to raise funds for OSO victims and were honored to present the school’s check for $500 to the American Red Cross.
“I am so touched by what this community does for others even though so many here don’t have much to start with,” Shelley said. “I just thought the world should know how small, less affluent communities like ours are contributing to the effort to support those rebuilding in Oso through the Red Cross.”