Making Connections Monday: Pennies for Patients at Brenham Elementary School #BESwired

If you drove through the car line at Brenham Elementary School on November 12, you likely saw volunteers and students collecting coins for “Clean Out Your Console Day.” Melanie Conway, BES Counselor, coordinated this effort in support of the BES Pennies for Patients initiative. Pennies for Patients is a fundraiser run by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society benefitting patients fighting various types of blood cancer. Funds collected help support research to advance cancer therapies and help save lives.

Conway launched this initiative after completing Core Essentials lessons with BES students about service and compassion. Each BES student was given a small cardboard collection box and asked to fill it up with coins from home to donate back to the collection box at school. The campus also hosted “Clean Out Your Console Day” which raised over three hundred dollars from the BES car line and “Dollar Day” which encouraged children to donate a dollar to earn the reward of wearing a hat and sunglasses to school. One third grader, whose mother is a cancer survivor, wrote a letter to his mother’s doctors stating he would donate fifty dollars of his own money if they would each donate one hundred.

Each morning fourth grade student volunteers travel to classrooms collecting and counting coins. Every donation is carefully recorded in a spreadsheet so that each student contributor can be recognized. The BES PTO will help host a party next week for any student who has raised five dollars or more. In addition, the class that raises the most money will be rewarded with a pizza party. However, Conway shared that not one student has asked about the pizza party. Instead, when they stop her in the hallway they ask, “Have we cured cancer yet?” Conway reported that the campus has reached their two thousand dollar goal and the donations are still coming in.