LETTERS: Students prove that small gestures from many can make a big difference

As Y2K is winding down and we begin to take stock of all our blessings, it is easy to forget the simple things we take for granted every day. Things like a warm bed, clothing, food and shelter are elements of our normal everyday lives that are just “there” and are all too often over-looked.

On several occasions this year, the Sunflower Chapter of the American Red Cross has been reminded that these things can be removed from your life suddenly, abruptly and without warning. Families are left with nothing more than their memories and the clothes on their backs.

In all situations, we do our best to fulfill our promise, “We will be there.” We do this by providing assistance in many different ways, whether it be drinks and food to the rescue workers or shelter for a family who has lost their home.

One blessing we are so thankful for this year is the help that has been given to us by our many friends. Volunteers, financial donors and instructors have made our “being there” possible.

The Sunflower Chapter was contacted recently by Evan Yoder, principal of Hillsboro Middle School. He told us about a fund-raiser that was being held by the students. After hearing about the several fires in Marion County, the students wanted to help and decided to hold a “Penny Drive.”

The concept was simple enough. For a short period of time the students would collect and contribute pennies.

While it’s difficult for one penny to make a difference, much as it’s difficult for one person to make a difference, the combined effort of the Hillsboro Middle School students managed to come up with 32,366 pennies in less than a month. This provided a wonderful and much needed donation of $323.66!

There was a bit of friendly competition between the grades. The sixth grade won the competition. Their “prize” was free milk shakes from Sonic Drive-In.

We want to extend our thanks to the students, faculty and staff for every penny they contributed and for helping us help others during this busy holiday season.

We want to wish everyone a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.

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