Edison Local’s elementary schools are living by the motto to “Be A Light” for others through fundraisers to support the Ukraine.
Stanton and John Gregg students showed their generous spirit by collecting nearly $3,000 in separate events to benefit the people of the war-torn country, which was inspired in part by a holiday school program. Stanton wrapped up a weeklong campaign in late March and recently donated more than $1,967 for Franciscan University’s Ukraine Fund for displaced women and children; the John Gregg PTO organized a dress-up day and popcorn sale on April 22 and gathered $846 for the World Hope International Ukraine Fund.
Stanton fifth-graders Isabella Boniey, Adreanna Delguzzi and Sophia Delguzzi were inspired after discussing the tragic news events in Ginger Bloom’s classroom. They then approached Principal Shannah Kosek-Scotch about the fund drive and were met with resounding support, after which letters were sent home about the activity and posters were placed around the school to encourage donations. Fellow students responded in kind and raised nearly $2,000 from March 23-29 and the check has been donated to the cause.
“I was elated and allowed the girls to help in planning the event, which included everything from advertising the fundraiser to deciding on a reward for the classroom having the most donations,” Scotch said. “After five days of collecting, I was so proud to count the donations and learn that we collected a total of $1,967.24. Some students went to family members and neighbors to collect donations, while others brought in their allowances and piggy banks to donate. It was truly a humbling experience.”
Boniey and Adreanna Delguzzi said they were excited to do it.
“I feel happy,” said Boniey. “It felt so good that we might help them.”
“I feel good about raising it and helping others,” added Delguzzi.
Scotch noted that she was extremely proud of the students for their overwhelming kindness.
“They took it upon themselves to initiate this kind and selfless act of helping others in need, and what a beautiful life lesson this was for us all,” she said.
John Gregg PTO members Jamie Wiley, Amanda Hayes and Amy Patel said $846.30 was raised from the one-day effort that coincided with Earth Day observances. Students paid $1 to don peace-themed attire while treats were sold with all of the proceeds benefitting the World Hope International Ukraine Fund.
“The PTO is excited to provide an opportunity for the students and staff of John Gregg Elementary to provide monetary donations to the people of Ukraine,” said Wiley. “The event was an opportunity for the students to ‘Be A Light,’ which has been an ongoing theme for the school year started by [music teacher Kathy Ramsey].”
She added that this year’s Christmas program featured a song by fifth-graders of the same name which became a source of inspiration.
“A verse [within the song] stated, ‘In a time of war, be peace.’ This was our inspiration for the effort to raise donations to assist the people displaced by the ongoing war in Ukraine,” Wiley continued. “We encouraged all students to donate to the cause and dress for peace by wearing sunflowers, which is an unofficial symbol for Ukraine.”
The PTO also sold popcorn during lunchtime and contributed all of the proceeds to the campaign. Wiley said the organization conducts fundraisers each year for three local food pantries and the Just Be Clause charitable organization which distributes toys to needy kids at Christmastime. She noted that no goal was set for the Ukrainian fund but every little bit makes a difference. “Due to the current economic situation, we have not set a funding goal knowing any amount will be helpful. We know that we may not be able to raise as much money as a larger school but we can still ‘Be A Light.’”