Students at Evans Middle School are proving loose change can make a difference.
Student Council members are hosting a Pennies For Patients drive through the end of April. Funds raised will support the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society in Des Moines.
The group talked about a variety of fundraisers before deciding to support this cause. “It was done in the past, people understand it and know what to expect,” said Max Thomason, an eighth grade student council member.
The effort will be promoted in advisories, according to Isabelle Mellin, also an eighth grade council member. The winning advisory will be rewarded, she said.
Students are encouraged to bring their loose change to school. Last year, $700 was raised. “It is amazing how spare change adds up,” said Nicole Ward, Student Council sponsor. The goal is to surpass last year’s total.
Many students and staff have been affected by cancer, according to sixth grade council member, Diana Nderi. “It’s important to help others who don’t have money for treatment,” she said.
The council hosts a variety of fundraisers throughout the year, including three school dances, a canned food drive, collecting Box Tops for Education, and an ice cream social that supports the purchase of smoke detectors in Ottumwa. The students also volunteer at Heartland Humane Society. “The dances help kids get to know one another,” said Katie Shewry, a sixth grade member.
Student Council members are selected through an interview process. Approximately 12 students are selected from each grade. The group is made up of “good, responsible kids,” according to Thomason. “We are kids who care.”
“Every penny counts,” said Shewry.
“If every student brought in $1, we’d raise $1,000,” said Ward.