HPA Fifth Graders Raise Nearly $1300 to Buy Gifts for Ronald MacDonald House in Pasadena

Twenty Tote Bags Filled with Hand-Picked Goodies Are Delivered Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

 “I felt thankful that I got to provide for the community. RMH helps the children and their families when children are in the hospital. I’m very happy we’re helping them.”— Kaden K.

By Norma Richman

Fifth graders at High Point Academy set out with one goal in mind: raise enough money to purchase as many games, toys, and baking mixes as possible in time for a Valentine’s Day delivery. They came up with a game plan—do chores at home and sell baked goods at school. In the end students raised $1,294.30 and went about creating a shopping list of kid-approved items for residents of Ronald MacDonald House in Pasadena. Teachers Rob Woodward and Dahlia Martin supervised a morning of stuffing tote bags so that every recipient would get identical items. In all, twenty bags were filled to the brim.

Fifth grader Madelyn W. described the process this way: “A lot of people made baked goods, and then there was a pre-sale for just the fifth graders. We got out of class early and grabbed tables and the baked goods to go outside for car line. It was kind of chaotic because everyone wanted stuff. We sold out in about five or ten minutes. The bake sale was to raise money for RMH. They help kids with illnesses. In addition we also did chores at home. Everyone tried to raise at least $10 each.”

Adding a new procedure to the process helped keep things running smoothly and guaranteed quality control. Eric C. explained, “We had stations and then four people at a time came in and someone with a clipboard would mark off the items. We all made sure that one of everything was in the bags. We made cards that were happy, that talked about the games and toys—not illness. Some families have people that are sick, and RMH gives them housing near the hospital. The process made me feel good and it was fun too.”

Reflecting on the experience, Riley W. said, “It’s important to help kids that are sick because they want the same opportunities as us. It made me feel that I’m so lucky to have all the opportunities I have. I’m really glad that we got to help.”

Madeline R. seconded that thought: “Community engagement means to give back to the community and help it grow. The way that we made it was a treat, a game and some stuff to help them through their situation. I hope the gift bags remind them that they’re not alone and they are loved.”

Ms. Martin summed up the learning experience for the entire fifth grade: “The project went very smoothly this year; we were able to raise a lot of awareness and funds for this valuable charity. It worked out well that we were able to pack everything on Valentine’s Day (2/14), as the Ronald McDonald House here in Pasadena was founded on 2/14/2004. The kids had a wonderful time, and they went above and beyond to ensure the bake sales were successful by baking lots of delicious treats.”

Ronald McDonald House Pasadena provides a home for families with critically-ill children, keeping them close to doctors and needed medical care and allowing parents to focus on the health of their children, without worrying about where they can afford to stay during treatment. This year, the fifth grade is happy to join Ronald MacDonald House Pasadena on the 19th anniversary of its founding.

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