Assignment evolves into humanitarian effort

Grade 5 BX Elementary teacher, Mr. Soon, challenged his class to do a project on charitable causes in November

Jaedyn Andreotti and Grace Cornell with the care packages they put together for people in need in Vernon.

Jaedyn Andreotti and Grace Cornell with the care packages they put together for people in need in Vernon.

What started as a school project, led two 10-year-olds on an effort to make a difference in their community.

Grade 5 BX Elementary teacher, Mr. Soon, challenged his class to do a project on charitable causes in November.

Friends Jaedyn Andreotti and Grace Cornell teamed up to make a promotional board to help raise money for the homeless.

“I watched the girls work on this project for about three weeks and noticed huge changes in my daughter,” said Tammy Andreotti.

Jaeclyn constantly fed her mom facts about homeless people in Vernon, and how hard it must be for them to be in the cold throughout the winter, while the rest of us are in our warm homes.

“She became very aware of the fact that there are so many children and adult homeless in this world and it brought her to tears. She wanted to make an impact.”

Tammy asked Jaedyn if she wanted to follow through on her project and without hesitation she said yes.

The homeless project helped raise awareness, but the decision to do something was over and beyond what was expected of the girls.

Jaedyn and Grace wanted to give back to the homeless, so they decided to have a bake sale with all proceeds going to making care packages to give out to homeless people.

They used the school’s care fair, raising $13, and were motivated to see how much they could make for the bake sale.

After several hours of baking and some generous donations the girls set out, going door-to-door, to sell their stuff.

“The people of Vernon were incredibly generous on that day and the girls raised $222. To say the least they were more than excited,” said Tammy, adding that the shopping trip for supplies also served as a lesson of how to stretch a dollar.

“The girls were so excited to see how far their money might take them. They bought everything from gloves, to hand warmers, to razors, to tasty snacks and drinks.”

They didn’t even spend all the money, so they headed to the Salvation Army jar at the mall and dumped another $20 or so in the donation slot.

The girls wrapped all the 30 care packages up (15 for men and 15 for women) and delivered them to The Arbour for those in need.

It was a rewarding experience that opened the eyes of two 10-year-old girls and may be just the start to more random acts of kindness throughout the community.

“At age 10 they know they can make a difference,” said Tammy.

“No one is too young to help someone in need. All it takes is an idea and a little encouragement.”