By Tim Leeds
Preschoolers at St. Jude-Havre Central School have been saving their pennies for the last six weeks to make a donation to charity.
Students in Carol Ortman's preschool class have been bringing pennies in to add to a collection as their Lenten season project at the school.
Ortman said some contribution to the pot has been made every day during the season. Tuesday and Wednesday the children, ranging from 3 to 5 years old in the four preschool classes, counted out the pennies into plastic bags and trekked three blocks to Albertson's to buy bottles of baby food, one bottle for each of the 40 children in the classes.
Once the Albertson's employees patiently counted out enough pennies to pay for the purchases of the lines of preschoolers, Ortman and the children carried the baby food to Sister Judith Maender at the church's parish office, and donated them for Maender to use in the social outreach program for St. Jude Thaddeus Church's social outreach program.
Ortman said Darla Johnstone, secretary at St. Jude-Havre Central, told her about the collecting pennies for charity idea. She said she decided to use it for their Lenten project, and it has been the best project she has ever used.
"They have had so much fun bringing their pennies in and dumping them into the jar," she said.
Money left over from each child's purchase will be used to buy more baby food for the social outreach program.
Ortman taught the children traffic safety all the way to the store and back, and bought them a treat at Albertson's as a reward for their hard work and charitable giving.
Maender, a member of the New York Dominican order, said the children's donation is greatly needed and appreciated. She said she has great requests for help every week.
"People can't pay the bills and put food on the table," she said.
Maender said the children at St. Jude-Havre Central are wonderful helping her with the outreach program. She said she gets a lot of help and donations from the school and from the community in general to help people in need in the community.