TMS student donates pageant funds to help cover costs for school lunch accounts

Published 4:17 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

By EMILY REED | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – When eighth grade Thompson Middle School student Alivia Button found out the pageant she was competing in was going to donate money to school lunch accounts, she decided to raise money for her school as well.

“Alivia participates in beauty pageants and part of this pageant was they were doing a fundraiser by donating money to students in the Jefferson County Schools who didn’t have money for school lunches,” Alivia’s mom, Honie Jo Hendrix said. “Alivia wanted to be able to donate money to her school as well, so she raised money independently to be able to donate to Thompson Middle School as well.”

Through word of mouth, and by sharing information on Facebook, Alivia was able to collect roughly $200 to donate toward school lunch money at TMS, which provides money on behalf of students who may need assistance with low or negative lunch balances.

“We were able to calculate that the money would help provide for two students to be able to eat breakfast and lunch for about a month,” Hendrix said. “This is something that was just close to her heart and she really wanted to be able to help provide for.”

The money Alivia raised did not go toward the whole total of the pageant fundraiser through Bama Belle Pageants due to the pageant donating to Jefferson County Schools. But, Alivia still enjoyed being able to compete and directing her money raised to her hometown school.

“I think sometimes kids aren’t shy about sharing that they don’t have enough money for lunch, or there isn’t enough money on their accounts so it is something she was sensitive to,” Hendrix said. “Sometimes a kid will just say ‘I don’t have enough money for lunch.’ I think this is just a way to help others reduce the burden they can have knowing they don’t have enough money for something.”

The pageant was held on Feb. 5 and Alivia donated the money collected to TMS on Feb. 8 where she donated it to TMS CNP Cafeteria Manager Pam Cohill and to ACS CNP Director Heather McDermott.

“I was really proud of her,” Hendrix said. “This was something she was really eager to do.”