Photo by Emily Buss
Washington-Kosciusko third grader Maddie Cone, 9, came up with the brilliant idea to raise money for victims of Hurricane Sandy during a week-long Cents for Sandy fundraiser. With the help of fellow students, Cone was able to give the American Red Cross a check for more than $800.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, millions across the Eastern Seaboard are struggling to pick up the pieces. An estimated two million people are still without power a week later. With another storm packing a wintery wallop nearing shore, East Coasters are in dire straights.
In an attempt to lend a hand, Washington-Kosciusko Elementary School third grader Maddie Cone, 9, enlisted the help of her fellow classmates to raise money during a week-long fundraiser she dubbed Cents for Sandy. On Friday, she and her excited classmates presented a check to the American Red Cross for more than $800 during a morning assembly.
“I was watching the news with my parents when I saw what happened on the East Coast,” Cone expressed. “I felt really sad for those families.”
After discussing her options with her brother and sister, Cone came up with the idea for a friendly competition between her grade and the others at her school. Cents for Sandy raises money when participants donate pennies. Classrooms keep track of points throughout the week, with one penny equaling one point. Silver coins and dollar bills were negative points. So Cone and her third grade comrades picked on the fourth graders by putting dollar bills in their bucket.
One might not think pennies add up very quickly, but Washington-Kosciusko teacher and student council advisor Emily Cassellius said it does.
“We are at about $500 right now,” Cassillius said Thursday afternoon.
But come Friday morning, the final pennies were added up and totaled $837.33. “This is just great. This is a positive way for our students to get involved in their community and see that there are other people that need our help.”
Winona, Wabasha and Goodhue County Red Cross Chapter Emergency Services Coordinator Dianne Thompson was at the assembly Friday morning to accept the check and said she couldn’t be more proud of the youngsters for donating.
“It’s amazing to know that these students are taught to help others,” Thompson said. “It means a lot to our chapter and I’m sure to the families on the East Coast. These kids humble us and bring us back to what’s really important in life.”
Thompson said all the money raised from the Cents for Sandy fundraiser will go directly to victims affected by Hurricane Sandy.
To donate to victims displaced by Hurricane Sandy, visit the Red Cross website. www.redcross.org/Hurricane_Aid