Seventh-grader Emily Donnelly found $32 stashed in various containers around her bedroom. Michelle Whitfield emptied her secret stash of $22. Trina Toloumu broke her piggy bank. Christine Nolan hit up her parents.
to give the most
By Treena Shapiro
It was all in the name of charity. Over the past two weeks, Aliamanu Intermediate School students have brought in $2,657.69 in loose change and large bills for the Star-Bulletin Good Neighbor Fund, raising more than $1,600 more than last year's contribution. The fund provides help to struggling families during the holiday season.
"I just want to give more and more and more," Toloumu said.
Kandice Price, 12, who has been donating her lunch money to the cause, said stories of families in need have increased her desire to give.
"I hope it goes to a good cause, to help people get their lives back together," she said.
Competitive spirit is also driving the fund-raiser, Price added.
The school is broken up into seven teams, each competing to bring in the most money.
"One of our team's homerooms is right next to ours, and we always try to beat the other homeroom," Price said. If the other team has donated more, her team members put in more money to get ahead.
The teams' donations are represented by paper chains looping around the cafeteria, with one link for every dime. The top teams will get ribbons for their efforts and a day to add more fashion to the school's dress code.
Eighth-grader Meiky Malaesilia said that last year she helped her team win the competition by visiting a pawnshop.
"I went and pawned my watch for 16 bucks and gave it away," she said.
Her mom wasn't thrilled, and instead of retrieving her watch, bought her a new $2 one from Burger King, she said.
"It's so competitive," said Angelica Polen, 13. On one day, each of her classmates brought in $10, she said.
In the end, however, she and other team and homeroom representatives are proud of their accomplishment.
"I feel good," they all said in chorus.