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Piggies for Presents

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

-Francis of Assisi

First grader Orhan Sarol has been discovering this joy in giving to others for many years by donating his piggy bank to purchase toys for local toy drives. What started as a family project has turned in to much, much more. This year, he found a way to brighten the days of even more children - asking his entire 1st grade class to do the project with him!

Sixteen of his classmates and their families joined Orhan to purchase toys for children in our community. The students donated money from their piggy banks, and many of their parents chose to match the amount they donated. Then, the first graders and their families met at Meijer for a huge shopping trip! Meijer was very welcoming and even gave us a generous gift card and a discount on our purchases. In all, the group of seventeen first graders purchased 176 toys! Orhan shared that he was very surprised by the amount of toys the class purchased. He said, “It was way more than I expected.” Later in the week, a representative from 911 Gives Hope will be collecting the toys to deliver to children within our community.

The toys collected will undoubtedly make a huge impact on the lives of children in our community. But even more important is the lifelong impact the project will have on the lives of the first graders who participated. Orhan’s friend and classmate Graham shared that he “feels really good about Orhan being kind to other people.” Providing opportunities to give to others builds confidence, teaches the responsibility we have as a part of a larger community, and inspires students to realize that they can make a difference. At Evansville Day School, these lessons are not seen as “extra” and instead are an integral part of what we do on a daily basis.

In a world full of big, difficult problems, I am filled with hope that all of this kindness and widespread impact began with one six year old boy who wanted to help others. Thank you, Orhan, for your inspiration!

Written by First Grade Teacher Megan Collins (Polz) 2008