Here's a very nice story about some local students who payed it forward:
High-schoolers transformed $200 into $7,050
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio -- One good act led to another, like a daisy chain of generosity looped around Pickaway County.
One teenager donated money and toys to a baby on kidney dialysis.
Another group raised money to help a family recover from a house fire.
All of the goodness that spilled across the county began with a class assignment at Circleville High School.
Teacher Pat Colangeli handed each of the 20 students in her freshman English class a $10 bill one January morning. She told them they could keep it, give it away, or use it as a seed to grow something bigger to make a difference in the community. The Circleville City Schools Foundation provided the seed money.
One student held a bake sale. Others asked friends, family and service clubs for donations. Others asked businesses to donate supplies so they could print publicity fliers. A couple of girls made a pitch at Sunday Mass.
By yesterday's completion of the assignment, the students had transformed $200 into $7,050.
No wonder their teacher cried so hard yesterday during a ceremony in the high-school cafeteria. "I'm very proud of them," she said.
So are their parents. Cameras clicked and applause rang out in the cafeteria as the 20 students gave their donations to the people and causes they helped.
This is what the students did with their $10 bills:
• Brooke Frye raised $815, including $200 worth of toys, for 9-month-old Jackson Mace, the infant with the failed kidneys. Brooke's gesture touched the hearts of Jackson's parents, April and Christopher Mace.
"We are just awestruck by this," Mr. Mace said. It was Brooke's turn to be surprised when Mrs. Mace gave her a check for $200 and told her to save it for her college fund.
• Eleven students raised $3,118 to help Charles and Dreama McGowan and their four children replace what they lost in a January house fire. A washer and dryer were delivered Wednesday; toys yesterday.
"It makes me feel so good inside," Mrs. McGowan said. "This is like their second Christmas." The children, 9-year-old Kylee, 5-year-old Kiana, 3-year-old Kyza and 1-year-old Charles III, gathered excitedly around the students for the toy distribution.
Students Betsey Brown, Laura Burns, Cody Clanin, Jenna Grunden, Casey Lockard, Rebecca Maddox, Kyle Moats, Claudia Skurlock, Andrew Streetz, Kayla Theis and Randi Cordial collaborated on helping the McGowans.
• Joni Palmer raised $387 for the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio, which helps women who cannot afford mammograms. Joni's grandmother, Nevaleen Collins, died at 47 in 1978 of breast cancer. Joni wore a pink T-shirt yesterday imprinted with a photograph of the grandmother she never knew.
• Jon Streetz, Nick Foster and Andy Burns donated more than $1,200 to the Emergency Clearinghouse Food Pantry in Circleville. Even more impressive, the boys presented the food-pantry director, Mary Easter, with a bouquet of pink roses.
• Justin Remotap, Amber Huston, Samantha Cline and Emily Marcum raised $1,330 for the Circleville Area Humane Society and $200 for the Pickaway County Dog Shelter.
"We're ecstatic," said Humane Society Director Christine Roan, who plans to add the money to a fund to buy and equip a building for stray cats and for animals held in animal-cruelty cases.
The 20 freshmen also had something for their teacher yesterday: their gratitude.
"Thanks, Mrs. Colangeli for picking our class as guinea pigs," Lockard said. "I think it worked out great."