The Community Blood Center, Lee Memorial Health System, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Special Olympics of Collier County were among the 18 healthcare-related charities that received a total of $3,692 donated by students and community partners in Charity for Change’s School “Giver” Program recently.
During five sessions throughout the school year, students in each classroom work together to select and learn about charities, donate spare change for their selected organization and participate in activities such as the Counting for Charity math game and character development puzzles to raise funds.
The theme for this latest session was health, and charities made 46 classroom visits to talk with students at Calusa Park, Lake Park, Lely and Golden Terrace elementary schools as well as Royal Palm Academy about their work.
Mindy Johnson is the assistant director at Care Club of Collier County, which provides day care for people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders. She brought Care Club client Kiki Tsirigos to Golden Terrace Elementary to visit with the students in Suzie Alden and Erin Stonebridge’s classes.
Johnson read two books about older people becoming forgetful and using a place like Care Club. She also played a memory game with the students, showing them items on a tray, covering them up and asking the students to recall what they saw. They admitted it was not an easy task.
Tsirigos brought candy for the children to thank them for their support of Care Club, and the children followed up the visit by creating Valentine’s Day cards for the group’s clients.
“The personal interaction during a charity visit such as the one provided by the Care Club really helps the students understand the impact that their fundraising makes,” says Karen Conley, president and CEO of Charity for Change.”
Also during this session, Special Olympics representatives brought Alberto Nieves, who won a bronze medal for tennis at the 2007 World Summer Games in Shanghai, for visits at Calusa Park and Lely elementary schools.
And Julie Avirett, a music therapist at Lee Memorial Health Systems, played an ocean drum, electronic Qchord, and other procession instruments while discussing how the music therapy helps patients. She visited Calusa Park, Golden Terrace, Lake Park and Lely elementary schools.
So far this school year, the students and Charity for Change’s community partners have raised more than $13,000 for 36 charities. Through March 23, students learned about and supported charities involved in animal welfare. The fifth session runs from March 26 through May 11 and includes non-profits related to the arts, education and the environment.
Learn more at charityforchange.org.
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