This is the third piece in a multi-part series about the Westfield School District coming to the aid of Superstorm Sandy victims. Check back with Patch throughout the week to learn more about how students and staff are making a difference in Westfield and beyond. To read Monday's story, click here, and click here for Tuesday's feature.
Edison Intermediate School French teacher Shannon Stone said she has always felt that her number one job was to teach and encourage students first and foremost "how to be kind, compassionate people who believe that they can make a difference in this world with the gifts that they have been given."
Practicing what she preaches and teaches, Stone has been working with EIS's One World United Service Club in sponsoring this year's Giving Campaign to raise money for Hurricane Sandy Relief.
"We will be donating a large portion of the funds to Memorial School in Union Beach," Stone said. "We are encouraging students, staff, parents and the community at large to participate."
Stone explained how this inspiring campaign really puts the "fun" in fundraising.
"Here is what we are asking others to do:
1. Pledge to do something fun, exciting, crazy or unique and ask your friends and family to sponsor you by donating to the Giving Campaign.
2. Go to the Giving Campaign website and under the “Comments” section “Leave a Reply” stating what you are doing to raise money: http://oneworldunited.weebly.com/1/post/2012/11/thegivingcampaign.html
or go to www.oneworldunited.weebly.com and then click on “The Giving Campaign” link on the top and then click on “Comment” on the bottom of the Giving Campaign page. This will allow EVERYONE to see the neat things that are being done to raise money.
3. Send the link to your friends and family explaining what you are doing (or just tell them what you are doing) and ask them to sponsor you by donating to the Giving Campaign (the link to donate is on the website, or they can donate by cash or check (made out to “EIS Fund”)). Donations can be sent to Edison Intermediate School, Attn: Shannon Stone, 800 Rahway Ave., Westfield NJ 07090.
4. Have fun! Be creative! And see how much good can come about because of YOU!"
Stone said what she loves about this idea is the way it empowers students.
"The parents have the means to donate money, but often kids don't have the money, but they have the passion, time and creativity to bring about change and engage others," she noted. "I think that this Giving Campaign is a great way to get the students involved in a unique and powerful way. All funds would be used to help families in need as well as the school in Union Beach."
Students have embraced the idea, with some volunteering to wear suits and even morphsuits to school as certain dollar amounts are donated.
Stone shared how a student developed an idea for an upcoming event called "Stop the Clock" to be held on Thursday, Dec. 20.
"During homeroom all of the students drop change in a bucket on the teacher's desk," Stone explained. "The teacher cannot start class until all of the change is counted. A student named Mackenzie came up with the idea. I love when students come up with ideas because when they see their ideas used, they are empowered."
Stone shared an email she received from "Stop the Clock" creator Mackenzie: "Thank you for your time and for using my idea. I cannot wait for December 20th. I am looking forward to seeing how much money we can raise, and I think that it will be a lot because I believe in this idea."
"I heard such innocence and faith in these words," Stone said. "These kids still believe that anything is possible...and what better way to show them that it is, than by giving them the confidence to follow their dreams and see their ideas come to light."