Mill Pond students raise money for Ukrainian refugees, St. Jude’s

Students at Mill Pond Elementary School recently raised funds for various causes. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH — A fundraiser organized by the student council at Mill Pond Elementary School in Westborough raised $4,644 for various causes last month.

Half of the money raised was sent to the Red Cross to benefit Ukrainian refugees, while the other half was donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“I thought it was a great way to do some sort of fundraising, but keep the school spirit going,” said sixth-grade student council representative Willow Henry. “A lot of people got excited about it.”

Student council counselor and social studies coordinator Kristin Robertson said the students chose St. Jude’s Hospital because they wanted to help other children. She added that many students are learning about the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine in their social studies classes, explaining that they wanted to do something to help the country’s refugees.

For fundraising, each class had a container placed in the cafeteria during the lunch hour. Students could put coins in their classroom container. They were also able to put dollar bills in containers of other grades. The coins were added to the total of each note, while the bills were subtracted.

“A lot of people were dropping dollar bills in other class bins,” Henry said. “Someone actually put a $50 bill in the fourth-grade trash can.”

Robertson said that Mill pond had done coin readers in the past. It was the most successful, however, with the eventual fundraising total more than doubling the students’ original goal of $2,000 raised.

“It was probably one of my proudest moments this year, just because it was kid-focused and exceeded our expectations,” said Caitlin Gardner, student council adviser and digital media specialist. at the Mill Pond School Library.

Henry said each class earns an extra recess for participating in the competition. Due to the success of the contest, she added, she wouldn’t be surprised if Mill Pond holds another fundraiser like this in the future.

The student council will then work on its Springfest program, a fundraiser for the Mill Pond Parent Group on Thursday, May 26 that will include raffles and food trucks.

Speaking on the now-completed coin reader, Robertson also credited UniBank to Grafton for helping count the coins through the use of a coin counting machine.

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