Susan McDaniel Havre Daily News email@example.com
It started with a word in their weekly reading program poverty. That one word started a discussion among Joyce Donovan’s third-grade class at Box Elder Schools. A discussion about wants compared to needs, things to be grateful for and who may need more than we do. What started as a simple discussion among the third grade classes turned into a community effort and grew over the three weeks it was in place. Between the two third-grade classrooms, 36 children decided that they could do a project that would make a difference in other people’s lives and the Lucky Penny Drive was born. The goal was 40 meals at the Great Falls Rescue Mission, with each meal costing $1.79. Each student who participated had a leaf taped to his or her locker. The children took their project seriously and told friends and family members about the penny drive. “I went into an office and saw a piggy bank with a note attached saying that the third grade was collecting for the homeless and to please donate,” Donovan said. “It turned out these little piggy banks were all over the place, it was one family’s way of helping out.” Each child did what they could, one third grader on the first day brought in a baby bottle full of change, “you could tell it was her own savings,” said Donovan. One young man from the high school handed Donovan a $10 bill. All together the classes have collected $494 in change only $58 was paper money. Wells Fargo has been keeping the change counted and giving the school a running total. Little notes from the children will be put out on the tables at the Mission on Thanksgiving offering good wishes. Each year Donovan tries to do a project with her thirdgraders. Last year, they held a stuffed-animal adoption with the proceeds going to Vernon The Boy after his house fire. Two years ago, they made May Baskets with fruit and notes for the seniors of the community. “The caring and compassion of this community never ceases to amaze me,” Donovan said.