King-Murphy second-graders urge peers to look in out-of-the-way places for change to donate to African kids

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

Second-graders at King-Murphy Elementary School have been raising money to help provide children in Africa with the school supplies they need.

In the process, they might have gotten their homes a bit cleaner.

They call the fund-raiser Digging for Dozens of Dimes. Children went home and cleaned under furniture and in clothes pockets, and looked in other out-of-the-way places to find spare change to donate to the program.

The students say they’ve found money in booster seats, in their moms’ old purses, in the washing machine and in their own rooms.

The fund-raiser is called Digging for Dimes because a dime by itself isn’t much, but put 10 of them together, and it’s a whole dollar, according to second-grader Haley Cain.

So far, they have raised $486.46, with a goal of $600. The money is going to a nonprofit called World Vision, and the donated funds are matched 10 times over by corporations. So the $600 will turn into $6,000 that will be used to equip African schools.

The second-graders started a competition among the other grades at King-Murphy to motivate them to donate, too. The winning classroom gets an ice cream party, and all donations are due April 11.

For second-grade teachers Mary Pat Maroney and Laura Clark, the project helps teach the 8-year-olds that they can make a difference, even at their age.

The students are well-versed in their mission and why it’s important. They say it feels good to help others who are less fortunate.

If the African children didn’t go to school, Braxie Abbey said, they wouldn’t be able to learn important things like spelling, reading and math.

“I’m happy and excited to donate to a poor person,” said second-grader Tate Spear. “They are going to learn and have a successful life.”

Second-grader Kaili Kozlowski added: “It feels good to donate so (the African children) have stuff like we have.”

Second-grader goes to church with appeal for funds

King-Murphy second-grader Wesley Sailor went above and beyond the call of duty to raise money to help African children.

He went to his church, United Methodist Church of Evergreen, and asked for donations from the congregation for World Vision. In total, he’s raised $152.50, which is a quarter of the second-graders’ goal.

“I talked about the project on a Friday,” said his teacher, Mary Pat Maroney, “and (Wesley) just took the idea and, on his own, he went to his church to ask for money. I was shocked. He was very enthusiastic, and he took action. I’m so proud of him.”

Two days after he learned about the project, Wesley hung posters at the church and spoke about the second-graders’ fund-raising efforts in front of the congregation.

“He stood up like a mature man that morning,” said Pastor Russell Fletcher. “He told the congregation what he was doing. Not every 8-year-old could stand before a congregation and talk.”

Wesley, whose mom, Sarah, works at the church, said he wanted to raise money so kids in Africa could get an education and get jobs.

He said speaking in front of the large group was a bit scary because he was afraid he would make a mistake. But in the end, it was worth it.

“He felt challenged to do this,” Fletcher said. “He did an outstanding job, and the church responded. He’s a can-do guy.”