Unlike traditional fundraisers where participation is focused on raising money, this year ALL students participate in Raise Craze by completing Acts of Kindness. Students throughout the school registered on Raise Craze, an online platform where students create a username and request donations via email. Students who were registered would then post their acts of kindness online, and people in the community were able to make a donation.
The initiative kicked off with PAWS, Lakeview’s bulldog mascot, visiting each class to give teachers a bag of paper hearts. Students wrote their name on a heart each time they completed an act of kindness and added it to the Kindness Bulletin Board outside the library.
The more good deeds they did, the more dough they drew in. Kids did everything from writing letters to military members, creating cards for people living in nursing homes, decorating kindness rocks and leaving motivational messages in sidewalk chalk.
Kindergarten teacher Jenn Borst said the school has done fundraisers before, "but what was different about this one was that every child had the opportunity to do a kind act for someone else. We started each day with special education teacher Jim Lieto making fun and encouraging announcements over the loudspeaker and throughout the day they were “caught in the act” of being kind. The kids realized quickly how much their actions affect others.
Along with daily acts of kindness, the students “stuffed a bus” for St. John’s Food Drive, literally bringing in bags and bags of food items that were then transported by bus to the food pantry and the next week a similar drive, this one collecting items to be donated to the Putnam Humane Society.
As with all fundraisers, the money is going directly back to the students. Averill said it will be used for school improvements, like more picnic tables so teachers can hold class outside and other classroom supplies.
In just a few weeks, they raised $22,000, and performed 888 acts of kindness! The entire school celebrated with an ice cream party the day before the Memorial Day weekend break.