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The Youngest Givers Break Records for Donations to Angels and Elves

December 16, 2010
The John Fuller students will shop for 20 children. According to Danielle Nutting, student council advisor and second grade teacher and Alison Memoli, student council advisor and guidance counselor, this year they raised $3,360.10; over one thousand dollars more than last year. Nutting adds that it is exciting that they are shopping for five more children this year. Memoli agrees, "I get a twinkle in my eye when thinking of the possibilities, this is something to give back," she says.

How'd they do that? A yard sale yielded $863.10 and a basket raffle brought in $2,500. Lots of themed baskets, which were donated by students and teachers, lined the main corridor of the school.

The themed baskets include: a Color Me Basket, full of coloring materials, a Red Sox Basket, with all Red Sox themed items, a Young Girls Sleep Over Basket, (the most sought after), a Bakers' Delight Basket, full of cookies mixes and baking pans, a Sherman Farms Basket, a Rainy Day Basket to name a few. "The PTA even donated an Apple Basket, containing an iPod and an Apple gift card," says Nutting.

Fourth fifth and sixth graders sent donation requests to families. Anyone can participate; community members, parents, anyone, explains Nutting. The response this year was huge. Most classrooms at the school make up baskets, says Nutting. "This year we had twenty two [baskets], last year we had sixteen," she adds.

The school sold raffles tickets. Tickets sold individually for one dollar and six for five dollars. Teachers, parents and the community buy tickets. The students get involved, too. "We have a morning when students can buy from 8:30 to 9 a.m. The kids empty out their piggy banks," says Nutting. You can't help but notice the baskets on the table in the hallway. Nutting says it is so exciting. "We are surprised everyday," adds Memoli. This year one of the winners of a basket with lots of toys donated it back to Angels and Elves, says Nutting.

There's more fun after the raffles. "After the raffle, that's it for the baskets. The kids go shopping for the children they are sponsoring. We have a wrapping party and a giant pizza party," says Memoli.

Raising monies is a real community effort. "We want to give a big thank-you to all who support us. Both Danielle and I have been so overwhelmed," says Memoli. She says they work closely with retail stores who offer discounts for those shopping. Settlers' Green supplies the space for Angels and Elves headquarters at Settlers' Corner.

The basket raffle helps educate people about Angels and Elves. "This gets the conversation going," says Nutting. "We started it [giving to Angels and Elves] and they [students] took it and ran. We are so excited, it gives me goosebumps," she adds.

For more information or to participate next year, contact Danielle Nutting or Alison Memoli at John Fuller Elementary School at 356-5381.

Angels and Elves accepts donations all year long. Contact Dick Ficke at Kiwanis by calling 356-8710.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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