Guest post by 6th grader Alexandra Westcott
I am helping the charity Eckerd Raising Hope because I felt really bad and wanted to help kids in need. My parents told me about how there are kids in the world who have very little dignity because they use a trash bag as their way to carry their belongings from their home to a foster home.
Kelly Rossi is the Director of Eckerd Raising Hope and I have been under her mentorship along with the principal of my school, Mrs. Williams. I have been getting donations like new duffel bags with a small plush toy and toiletries. The reason I wanted a small plush toy inside was to give a child something to hold onto in a scary moment.
I did my fundraiser at my school Imagine School, Land O Lakes. I created a contest that whichever students out of middle school brought in the most donations would earn a pizza/ice cream party and as well as door prizes. I was very pleased with the generosity of the students. When we loaded the donations I asked some of the National Junior Honor Society peers to help. We were able to fill Miss Rossi’s van with all the donations received. I was very proud of my school and my peers.
Before I could even begin talking with Miss Rossi and Mrs. Williams many hours were spent investigating the charity and what was needed. I traveled to many retailers to find the cheapest duffel bag and toiletries. After finding that this was doable and inexpensive I was able to meet with both Miss Rossi and Mrs. Williams. This also helped the students and their parents find the necessary products quickly. Together with Mrs. Williams we came up with a plan to hold the charity drive in the first two weeks of May which we felt would be the most ideal time. I was very happy to see the charity drive finally begin and the products starting to fill the boxes. I was also excited to hear from other students how happy they were to be part of this. I cannot tell you how proud this made me feel.
In order to get some more donations I went to different businesses explaining to them about the charity. Most of the businesses were very moved and donated things. I was very pleased about that. Many of these donations we will be handed out at the pizza party as prizes. I am so happy that the charity drive was successful but also sad that it’s over. I’m looking forward to next year to see what I can do to help and keep what I started going.
If you are interested in learning ways to support Eckerd’s Raising Hope and the foster children the program serves, please visit www.eckerd.org/raisinghope.