Every year service members take the opportunity to donate to hundreds of charities through the Combined Federal Campaign. With the annual CFC walk at Tarawa Terrace Elementary School at the housing area aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the students are able to donate their time and efforts and help the community alongside their parents.
Students pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade began the year with a simple goal-to raise money for an undecided charity. The drive to help and a competitive nature pushed the students to raise $1,743.89.
An original goal of just $1,000 was surpassed through the avid collection of change by the students. The funds raised were eventually chosen to help the Wounded Warrior Family Support, Inc.
“We do it every year as a way to give back to the community, and in honor and celebration of service members and their families,” said Leigh-Anne Kapiko, principal for Tarawa Terrace Elementary. “The kids get a sense of helping and giving back, but they also get a sense of security in case one of their parents needs help.”
Kapiko added it’s a great opportunity for the entire community and sometimes people don’t realize children can lend a hand just as well as adults.
Donations were brought in by the students and some reached out to the community to help collect. Hernandez added one student put a jar at her father’s work and collected quarter’s everyday at lunch.
“We also did a weekly cotton candy sale,” said Dianne Hernandez, office clerk for Tarawa Terrace Elementary. “The students were told during the announcements everyday who was winning so it kept them competitive.”
The students were highly motivated through the act of giving, but a king and queen from each class were appointed for being the biggest collector.
Five-year-old Savannah Briley was the biggest raiser from Mrs. Krockel’s kindergarten class and wore her crown during the walk. Briley donated over $100, but her selfless giving didn’t stop with the collections. Minutes into the walk, Briley compassionately handed her crown over to another student.
“I helped to make sure the wounded warriors get better,” said Briley. “I took my crown off and gave it to my friend because her father got hurt.”
Every year the CFC collects donations for thousands of charities through the generosity of federal employees like service members and the annual CFC walk at Tarawa Terrace Elementary is just another example of the thoughtful donating which continues with the help of the students.