Paul Norton Elementary School students create new Valentine’s Day fundraiser for local nonprofit

BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) — As Valentine’s Day approaches, some elementary school students in Quad Cities have created a way to make sure the love is felt around the QCA.

“I really love seeing everyone come in and see them so happy to give each other valentines,” said Emmy Honn, a third-grade student at Paul Norton Elementary School.

Paul Norton Elementary School Student Council has come up with a new fundraiser to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

“We knew we wanted to do something around Valentine’s Day to promote kindness, and we wanted to do something school-wide so everyone could be included,” said teacher Kelsey Benson. kindergarten and student council leader at Paul Norton Elementary School.

For every one dollar donation each child collects, the child receives a Blow Pop, and then that child writes a hand-written Valentine’s Day for someone else within the school.

Fundraising took place over four days. After the first two days of sales, the students raised $500 and the money kept coming.

“We made a game plan, and we came back with week two and we had a lot more suckers, and we had a lot more valentines. Today I still had 500 and we sold. Our school district and our community are so generous, and they’ve really embraced that,” Benson said.

In total, Benson estimated the children raised $1,500.

“Everyone’s support has been amazing,” Benson said.

Donations, however, go beyond the walls of Paul Norton Elementary School. All money raised will go to QC Closet2Closet, a non-profit organization that helps foster children with wardrobe and toiletries needs.

“We’re a non-profit organization that was started by kids, so it’s really exciting to get help from kids, because we’re kind of an organization that helps kids,” Allison said. Haskill, director of daily operations for QC Closet2Closet. “The pandemic has been tough on fundraising, so we’re really thrilled to receive this unexpected gift.”

“We talked about how you could see this person at Target, you could see this person in any store and you might not know what they’re going through,” Benson said. “They may be going through something, and your acts of generosity have helped them and maybe made them more comfortable, or made them more confident in themselves.

For a student, fundraising takes on added importance.

“I have a lot of foster family members in my family and one of my brothers was adopted, so I want to help them,” said Liam Lightfoot, a third grader at Paul Norton Elementary School. “It’s important to help others because eventually they might help you back.”

Haskill said QC Closet2Closet will use the money to purchase fleece blankets, the most requested item from customers.

Benson said there are some tweaks to the fundraiser, but she hopes it will become an annual tradition.

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