04/02/04 — Students contribute to Red Cross "Heroes"

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Students contribute to Red Cross "Heroes"

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 2, 2004 2:02 PM

Students across Wayne County have spent the last few weeks learning about the American Red Cross and what it means to be a "hero."

Schools were invited to participate in this year's "Heroes" fund drive for the Wayne County American Red Cross. Recycled water bottles from Culligan were given to 27 public schools, with the theme "Pennies for a Purpose."

Max Rich of Culligan Bottled Water in Goldsboro came up with the idea. Last year, something similar had been done in banks, and Rich suggested it be extended to the schools.

The "Pennies for a Purpose" idea promoted services that the Red Cross does in Wayne County. Many students in elementary school were already familiar with Red Cross through the "Home Alone" safety program it sponsors; older students also knew about it through blood drives conducted at high schools.

Students were encouraged to decorate the bottles and hold a contest to reward the best efforts.

Among the prizes for decorating and raising money were gift certificates, class ice cream parties and gift baskets.

"We feel like we give back to the schools and want this to be a win for them, too," said Cindy Bell, executive director of the local Red Cross.

Ms. Bell delivered the bottles to the schools on March 8. The drive ended this week. She said it was such a success, and it will be done again next year.

"We had a school that called every week and said, 'You've got to come get this bottle and bring us another one because it's full of money,'" she said.

It is estimated that the schools raised about $5,000.

Ms. Bell said three schools in the county also asked how they could be "heroes," which is defined as those who raise $1,000 or more. Grantham, Rosewood Elementary and Eastern Wayne Middle schools accomplished that goal.

Students decorated bottles to entice donations for Red Cross, she said, and at least one school held a program about benevolence in the community.

"That's what we love to see happen," Ms. Bell said, "not just for Red Cross but for Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, to look at the heroes that we have."