Spirit of Giving in Two Blanche Moore Elementary Students

The spirit of giving has trickled down to our children, and proof of that can be found in two donation drives by two different local students.

One student is collecting money for Philippine relief, much needed after Super Typhoon Haiyan laid waste to much of the island nation. Another student is collecting shoes for children in Guatemala.

Blanche Moore Elementary fourth-grader Jocelyn Castillo has been watching the news with her mother, and every day, she is saddened to see the devastation in the Philippines.

"I'm collecting money, and I'm hoping that a lot of people will donate money so that we can really help the Philippines," Jocelyn said.

Jocelyn has started creating collection jars, eight of which have already been placed at schools and businesses throughout the city.

"If that were to happen to my city, I wouldn't want to go without my home, my family, my friends," Jocelyn said. "I'd just be really sad, and I wouldn't be able to do anything. I'd be suffering and I'd be scared. Lost."

"I'm very proud. Jocelyn is an amazing daughter. She's always been kind," said Marisela Castillo, Jocelyn's mother. "She's doing a remarkable job of trying to raise money for this cause. I'm very, very proud of her."

All the funds that Jocelyn is able to raise will be turned over to the Red Cross at the end of the year.

Blanche Moore third-grader Ruben Mickelson, who along with his brothers watched a report on the poor living conditions in Guatemala, said the children's story touched them all and they have decided to collect shoes for those who need them.

"It makes me feel sad because they won't have anything to wear, and if it snowed, if it's cold, they won't have anything to warm them down," Ruben said.

Ruben and his family are asking friends, family and schoolmates for their help in collecting the shoes. His mother, Marcia Mickelson, who was born in Guatemala, said it took a year to start the drive because it was hard to find a good way to send the shoes to Central America.

"It started off as really just a small family project, and we're hoping to get a lot of participation," Mickelson said. "And I was born in Guatemala, so that's a consideration of why we wanted to focus on that; but I know there are lots of places like that in the world that could use that kind of help."

The family has been collecting from friends and family for a week and have already collected 10 pairs of gently used shoes.


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