To the students at the Denver Campus of the Lincoln Charter School, helping those in need just seems to be second nature.
â€œLast year we had a toy drive for kids at hospitals who couldnâ€™t be home for Christmas,â€ said eighth-grader Chelsea Tierney, a member of the schoolâ€™s student government. â€œThis year, we wanted to do something different.â€
Tierney came up with that something different one day as she listened to the radio.
It was then that she heard of a coat drive being held by the Crisis Assistance Ministry, a non-profit group in Charlotte that provides assistance to people in financial crisis, during the month of February.
Tierney then approached the other members of the Charter Schoolâ€™s student government and its advisor, Stacey Kropff, about the group heading up a school-wide coat drive for the Crisis Assistance Ministry.
â€œI thought it was a great idea,â€ Kropff said, â€œAnd the kids seemed really excited to do it.â€
That excitement seemed to spread through the community as bags of coats began to pour into the school.
Before it was all over, the school had collected 188 coats for needy children, adults, and even one for a baby.
â€œA lot of people thanked us for helping them clean out their closets,â€ Kropff said of the community involvement. â€œWe got a lot more coats than I expected.â€
The school also helped push the drive, allowing the students to advertise the drive on the sign in front of the school and helping spread the word.
â€œThe school really promotes our drives,â€ Kropff said. â€œThe PTO, or Parent Teacher Organization, sees the drives as a way to plant the seeds of giving in the students.â€
That seed seems to be growing well, as can be seen through the words of the students.
â€œIt feels good to know that a child has something warm to wear,â€ Tierney said of the need being met through the drive.
Tierneyâ€™s fellow students agreed.
â€œItâ€™s nice to know that a little kid will be able to go out in the snow with a warm jacket on and not just a lot of layers of clothes,â€ said Shauna Vintin, fellow eighth grader and another member of the student government.
The student government viewed the drive as so much of a success, that the students are already looking at the possibility of holding the drive again next year.
â€œMaybe we can do it again next year,â€ Tierney said, â€œAnd maybe even include a contest within the school.â€
by Chris Dean