When Neary fifth grades Bridget Brady and Catherine Stevens and fourth graders Neha Panigrahi and Courtney Winand saw the images of destruction coming from Japan on television, they knew they wanted to do something to help.
“I saw what it was like on TV, and I knew people my age were going through a bad time,” Brady said.
With the support of Neary Principal Linda Murdock and teacher David Stubbart, the girls decided to sell $2 rubber wristbands to raise money for the Japanese Red Cross. The response from their classmates was overwhelming. “Almost the whole school donated,” Stevens said. “It’s great to see everyone wearing the writstbands.”
All told, with a matching gift from the employer of one of the girl’s parents, the students raised $2,382 toward relief efforts in Japan.
On Monday, Southborough resident and Red Cross volunteer Betsy Crowley presented the four girls with a certificate in recognition of their fundraising effort. “I want you to know how proud we are,” Crowley said at an all-school assembly. “You can make a difference, and you did make a difference.”
Crowley told the students that the Red Cross has donated $130M in aid to Japan. “Every little bit adds up,” she said.
Calling the effort “tremendously successful,” Murdock said the fundraiser for Japan is just one example of the service work being undertaken by Neary students. “Student initiative is just exploding at this school,” Murdock said. “I think it’s just incredible that they’re motivated to make a difference in the world.”
For the girl’s part, making a difference in the world makes a difference for themselves, as well. “It feels awesome,” Brady said.
I’m so proud of you Bridget and your friends too! – Mrs. Stephens
Bridget and Friends – I am so proud of you! You have set a wonderful example of what it means to be compassionate! ~Mrs. Goulet
Congrats Catherine and Bridget! I miss you both SO much, way to go ladies!!
– Miss Johnson
Great job, girls!
Dear Bridget, Neha, Courtney and Catherine~
What a wonderful way to show your support to all of those in need in Japan! Your efforts are greatly appreciated by all who will benefit from your kindness. Keep up your generous and thoughtful help! I am very proud of all of you!!