FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont Catholic puts the focus on giving rather than receiving around the holidays. This year, kindergarten students put together a virtual Turkey Trot to help raise money to put together “blessing baskets” for members in need throughout Marion county.
“The entire message of Thanksgiving is the message of giving thanks,” said kindergarten teacher Courtney Donato. “Reaching out to those that are less fortunate really opened the minds of our kindergartners specifically because they knew they were helping.”
The school raised more than $3,000 through the turkey trot, along with the $1 to “dress down” donations from all students pre-K through 8th.
The school filled laundry baskets with enough food for a Thanksgiving feast, with some additions such as peanut butter sandwiches, pancake mix, teas, and much more to help these families beyond the holiday.
“One gentleman is a supporter of our community and a supporter of our school and has fallen on hard times, as well as he found out he’s sick. So, it was a true blessing to him, and to see his family react was heartwarming, to say the least,” said PTO President Maika Merriman. “I try to provide that as much as I can in context to our kids, so they know that someone isn’t going to bed hungry in our community. That, for a couple of meals after Thanksgiving, they still will be fed.”
The main goal behind this idea of giving back during the holidays is to show the kids it doesn’t matter what your age or someone else age is; you can always make an impact on someone’s life.
“We all need to help our community, whether it be picking up trash, or whether it be providing a meal to someone. “I think at an earlier age, to see that, you’re more likely to grow up and be an active member in your community,” said Merriman.
“It carries on with you, and showing the coming together is a huge part for our children. Understanding that, if they come together, they can make a huge impact,” said Donato.
Five baskets were put together that were handed out to each family over the weekend and on Monday. The money that was not used from this fundraiser will be for a Fairmont Catholic event of some sort during Christmas time to show support to the community.