PITTSBURGH -- Student representatives from our six schools spoke about the Spirit of Giving, what it means to them, what it means to their respective schools, and how it’s making a difference in the community. The Spirit of Giving can encompass any charitable act including random acts of kindness and donation drive. Watch the student presentations here.
Highcliff Elementary School sixth-grader Maggie West and fifth-grader Camryn Gerst spoke about the school’s upcoming “Teacher May I Week” during which students will give a donation to participate in a fun activity such as crazy hair day, pajama day, hat day or play a board game. Money raised will be donated to Smile Train, which helps children who have a cleft lip and/or cleft palate, and to the Humane Society.
Highcliff students will also be making cards for Meals on Wheels as well as a local nursing home in December.
McIntyre Elementary School sixth-grader Grace Aiken spoke about what the season of giving means to her and family.
“The season of giving isn’t just to give, it makes a difference in our community. If we have the eyes to see what needs to be changed, the ears to listen to people’s cries, and a heart that helps and gives, we can make a difference,” she said. “It only takes one person to believe our community can change for the better.”
Fifth-grader Brennan Sebeck spoke about McIntyre’s upcoming spirit week during which students will raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Similar to Highcliff’s “Teacher May I Week,” students will donate money to participate in spirit days like an ugly Christmas sweater day and “white-out” day, for example.
“It is important to raise money as a community because it shows we are kind and giving. Some kids aren’t as fortunate as us, so giving to them may make them feel more included,” he said.
Ross Elementary sixth-grader Dante Albanese and fifth-grader Brady Rohaly spoke about their school’s recent fundraising efforts beginning with the 3rd annual JDRF Kids Walk to Cure Diabetes held in October. The entire school walked around the school to raise $1,275 to help fight childhood diabetes.
Also in October, Ross held a dime collection to benefit the March of Dimes. Students collected dimes in plastic pumpkins to raise more than $1,600. Congratulations to the second grade for collecting the most money!
Ross Elementary School will also hold a “Teacher May I Week” later this month to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Over the years, this week has raised more than $3,500!
A holiday sweater contest is also planned for Dec. 19 that will also raise money for Make-A-Wish.
West View Elementary School fifth-grader Lia Loaney spoke about the school’s annual food drive ongoing now and the hope that others will want to give because they’ve been helped by someone else.
“At West View, we hope that these acts of kindness make people feel better. Who knows, maybe it will make someone feel like they want to help someone else because they know how good it feels to be helped!”
She added, “We are trying to make our community a better place and create a chain reaction of giving.”
Sixth-grader Jack Balkey spoke about last month’s “Funky Friday” event held to raise money for classmate Riley Balcita. Riley underwent a bone marrow transplant last summer after being diagnosed with leukemia. For Funky Friday, each grade level was assigned a color and students created a “Rainbow for Riley.” More than $600 was raised for their classmate.
“The spirit of giving is easy and something that we all have,” Jack said. “If you work together to help someone else, it is easy to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud! I’m proud to say the spirit of giving is alive and well at West View Elementary.”
North Hills Middle School eighth-grader Katharine McGoey North Hills High School senior Wendy Huynh also spoke about their schools’ respective charitable donations.
Watch the student presentations here or in the embeded player below.