The True Reason for the Season

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world.  In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”  - Margaret Mead

Today a group of 55 fourth and fifth graders changed the lives of many of the 608 children in the Utah Foster Care system.  These students donated a grand total of $2,514.80!  They earned this money by having donors pledge a penny for each minute read.  Students read a total of 18,897 minutes during their week-long “Pennies for Peace” reading marathon.

The idea for service came from Mr. Lovell’s fourth grade students.  During a class democracy meeting, they decided they wanted to better remember the “reason for the season”.  Mr. Lovell stated, “It is one of my personal goals as a teacher to help students understand one of the great ironies of life; that when you serve others in need, you almost always benefit more than the person whom you serve.”  Miss Babcock’s fifth grade students heard about the project, and decided to join in.

A check was presented to representatives from the Foster Care Program, who, with emotion, stated, “This is the most generous gift we have ever received.  I am sweating from my eyes, I am so touched.”  One of the students commented, “I was adopted and it really touched me that we could do this.”  Another child thoughtfully stated, “I decided to donate an extra twenty dollars my grandpa gave me after thinking for a minute about things I could buy for myself.  I decided to donate it because I wanted to make this Christmas special for other kids.  I felt like by giving gifts to others, I received the gift of feeling happy and good inside.”

This was an amazing opportunity for students, parents, teachers and the whole school community.  Can one good deed from an ordinary child change the world?  Yes . . . yes it can!  Thank you, students, for your example of kindness and selfless giving. 


Andrew Lovell