Updated: Dec 17, 2019
What started as a way to honor my sister Katie, my $20 challenge has grown into something even more.
Over the course of this school year, my 47 students spent $940 spreading kindness and helping others.
They donated to some amazing organizations, fed the hungry, put their craftiness to good use, and even used their $20 to simply bring some joy or fun to others.
But most importantly, they learned the importance of human connection and how easy it is to be kind.
I am so proud of my ninth graders this semester. They went beyond my expectations and I am in awe of their maturity. They have impacted so many people through their actions and have inspired others to pay it forward.
I hope you enjoy their reflections on this project as much as I did. 14 years in and I continue to learn from my "kids" every day.
$940 went to:
Several free meals and drinks to strangers to brighten their days
A donation to the school library to pay off outstanding library fines
Sanitary products for a women's shelter
A donation to the Girl Scouts who were selling cookies
A gift card to give to a family friend who was about to have a third child
20 dinners for Meals on Wheels
Supplies for an animal shelter
Dance supplies to Traveling Tutus, an organization that provides dance attire to children all over the world
Jared boxes for kids in the hospital
A donation to the Devereux Foundation
Flags on veterans graves at Whitemarsh Memorial Park Cemetery for Memorial Day
A donation to THON, an student-run organization that raises money for kids with cancer
A donation to For Pete’s Sake, an organization that provides respite for those battling cancer
Care packages for the troops
Handmade blankets for animals in an animal shelter
A donation to the World Wildlife Fund
Handmade contracture carrots for stroke patients at a nursing home
New clothes for the nurse's office for students who need extra outfits after having accidents
Free rides to strangers at a local fair
Groceries donated to a food bank
Homemade cookies baked and delivered to the local volunteer fire department
Cakes given to the local fire station and police station
$20 tips left for waitresses
A donation to Fox Chase Cancer Center
A donation to LIDÈ Haiti, Rainn Wilson’s organization, to provide writing materials for a girl in Haiti
Free donuts to strangers walking by
A donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation
New school supplies for Simmons Elementary School
Free food at Dunkin’ Donuts for anyone who cannot afford their meal
A donation to an infant diagnosed with cancer
A donation to a local soup kitchen
Spools of thread given Pennsbury Manor’s historic sewing program
Handmade pillowcases made for Ryan's Case for Smiles (formerly ConKeer Cancer), an organization that provides fun pillowcases to kids going through chemo
A donation to a friend whose father had just passed away and needed money for immediate expenses
Handmade crocheted NICU baby hats for newborns with heart conditions donated to the American Heart Association's Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign