FOES students inspired to make a difference

Forest Oaks Elementary School Students, Katelyn Shirley, Ella Hillman and Norah Breedlove worked together to hold a school-wide fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital from Feb. 23-27. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Forest Oaks Elementary School Students, Katelyn Shirley, Ella Hillman and Norah Breedlove worked together to hold a school-wide fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital from Feb. 23-27. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

CHELSEA—Three Forest Oaks Elementary School fourth graders are making a big difference in the lives of others. Ella Hillman, Katelyn Shirley and Norah Breedlove raised nearly $800 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through a school fundraiser.

The idea was sparked by a paper Hillman and Breedlove were assigned in writing class. The girls were asked to write a paper about the characteristics that make a person a hero, and someone they view as a hero.

“We had to name a special hero who we thought was a hero,” Breedlove explained.

During the assignment, Hillman learned about a girl who raised money for cancer research.

“I got inspired,” Hillman said. “I wanted to make a difference and do something special.”

Together, the three girls decided to put together a school-wide fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which treats and researches pediatric cancer and other serious diseases.

The project required extensive planning, including logistical meetings with Principal Dr. Resia Brooks, decorating collection bags to be placed throughout the school and creating fliers to promote the event, which lasted from Feb. 23-27.

“They worked really hard,” Brooks said. “They did all the leg work.”

Even with several delayed starts and a snow day, the girls’ fundraiser netted $744.65 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

“It was a big process,” Hillman said. “We all think it was worth it.”

The entirely self-run fundraising campaign highlighted the girls’ leadership, Brooks said, and set an example for the community. But for Hillman, Shirley and Breedlove, the best part was helping others.

“I liked being able to help St. Jude,” Shirley said. “You can set a good example and you don’t even know about it.”

Breedlove echoed Shirley’s sentiment, adding, “I know that I’m helping lots of people, and that makes me feel good.”