Martin Road students surpass goal for Helping Hands fundraiser

Martin Road students surpass goal for Helping Hands fundraiser

helping hands students
Above: Students proudly stand in front of their helping hands after raising a total of $631 for the American Red Cross.

LACKAWANNA, NY (Oct. 17, 2017) - Students at Martin Road Elementary School hit a grand slam when it came to raising money for the American Red Cross.

Children in four classrooms banded together to collect a total of $631, which will go to victims of several different natural disasters and aid in recovery efforts across the nation. Molly Sievenpiper, executive coordinator of the Western New York Chapter of the Red Cross, visited many of the selfless students on Oct. 17 to thank them for their generous contribution and educate them about the organization's work.

"I feel very grateful for Martin Road Elementary,"she noted. "Small hands do make such a big difference for those in need.'

Martin Road partnered with Frontier's Big Tree Elementary School to hold their fundraisers in tandem with each other. Martin Road teacher Natalie Oaks' daughter, Sophia, inspired the partnership after coming home from Big Tree one day.

"My daughter is a fifth-grade student and she came home so excited the first week of school saying her teacher wants Big Tree to do a Helping Hands community project,"Oaks explained. "The idea behind it was simple: color helping hands and donate a dollar. The lesson was priceless. The children were learning an important life lesson and that it feels good to help others who need the help. I thought if Big Tree could do it, then we could, too.'

The students in the four Martin Road classrooms took the initiative and told their peers about their efforts by going from class to class, asking for helping hands and $1 donations. Those who donated got to color their own helping hands on paper. The paper hands were then put up on a wall for all to see.

The original goal for Lackawanna was $300 over a two-week period. Students collected more than double that amount.

Participating in the fundraiser were students in the classrooms of Cynthia Peters, Oaks, Kim Woyshner and Lori Zak. Teacher aides Kyle Baldelli, Mary Miller and Patricia Sawicki also helped organize the fund drive.

"Mrs. Oaks brought this wonderful project to Martin Road,"Julie Andreozzi, Martin Road principal, stated. "It truly models what Martin Road represents, which is giving back, helping each other and empathy for others.'

Oaks pointed out the students were smiling and proud to be giving back when they delivered their donations and helping hands every morning.

"We are very proud of Martin Road Elementary's helping hands and how two districts - Lackawanna and Frontier - worked together to raise so much money for people in need,"Oaks concluded. "If Big Tree can inspire us to do something like this, then maybe we can inspire another school to do the same thing."

helping hands presentation
Above: Julie Andreozzi (right), Martin Road Elementary principal, holds up a Mickey Mouse toy typically given to victims of natural disasters by the American Red Cross as Molly Sievenpiper, executive coordinator of the Western New York Chapter of the Red Cross, holds a check for $631, the amount raised by students during a Helping Hands fund drive.

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