12/11/08 — Wayne Country Day students give up activity funds for cause

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Wayne Country Day students give up activity funds for cause

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on December 11, 2008 1:46 PM

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Wayne Country Day School Intermediate School students Jordin Jackson, Clark Peacock, Jacob Parks, Charlotte Yarboro, Karis Hawkins and Mollie Catherine McDonald present a $450 check to News-Argus reporter Anessa Myers for the Empty Stocking Fund.

Seventh- and eighth-graders at Wayne Country Day School had a chance to keep their money for fun projects and class trips.

That was the reason they had a pie sale in the first place.

But when they heard that there were 600 children who might not have a Christmas without the Empty Stocking Fund, they decided to give that money away -- all $450.

Every year, a middle school class at the school holds a pie sale before Thanksgiving to raise money for its future class projects.

This year, since the seventh-grade class was a small one, with only 15 students, the eighth-graders decided to lend a hand.

Each student had to help make two pies for the sale. Together, the classes sold more than 50 pies for $8 a piece. The pies sold out the day of the sale right after lunch.

And when the fundraiser was over -- the students found they had brought in close to $500.

They knew they wouldn't need that much money and that they would have many more years to save up for class celebrations like prom or their senior gift to the school.

So Pam Diffee, a teacher at the school who mentors the middle school students, suggested they give the money to a charity.

And she told the students about the Empty Stocking Fund.

"She said that the fund was still trying to reach its goal, and that we could help," eighth-grader Charlotte Yarboro said. "We knew that the Empty Stocking Fund needed it more than we did."

The day of the sale, after the money was counted and totaled, both classes agreed that they would give the money they made to the fund.

For them, it was an easy decision.

"The class usually uses the money for parties," eighth-grader Clark Peacock said. "We were grateful for what we had, so we gave the money to the needy."

"We got so much money. We didn't need to keep it for ourselves, and since it was so close to Christmas, we decided to let someone else have a nice Christmas this year," eighth-grader Jordan Jackson said.

Seventh-grader Jacob Parks said once he started to think about what his donation would mean to the needy children, the decision was easy.

"I just feel really grateful to be able to help these little kids," he said. "If they would never get to have a Christmas, I would feel empty inside. I'm going to get more for Christmas then they are, but they'll be more joyful because it means more."

Miss Jackson said she knew the money would be better spent on children this year, especially around Christmas.

"When you are little, Christmas means presents," she said.

And to think that some children might be without presents this year was more than enough motovation to give the money to the Empty Stocking Fund, she added.

Karis Hawkins and Mollie Catherine MacDonald, seventh-graders at the school, said that it was important for the class to show others that helping the less fortunate is important.

"I think it's a really good opportunity for other kids. It's a really special time, and I'm glad to be a part of it," Miss Hawkins said.

"It's good for the children, and good for us to be able to give Christmas to them," Miss MacDonald said.

The students said they knew that $450 might not seem like a lot of money to everyone, but to them and the children who will benefit from it, it means the world.

"That helps a lot of kids," Miss Jackson said. "A little stuffed animal makes their day. It's the little things that make them happy."

Still, at the end of the day, after they reminisced about the pie sale -- and especially after eating some of the pies -- the children were still thinking about the children who will be part of the party Saturday.

"I wish I could give them all a hug," Parks said.

And even then, they didn't think that $450 was enough. They wished they had raised more to help more children.

"I just really wish we would have made a bunch of money," Miss Jackson said.

And then, they started to focus on next year.

The students said they would hold the "Pie Palooza" again, but the money wouldn't go back into the class coffers, at least not all of it.

"We will most likely give money to charity again next year," Miss Jackson said.