New Milford fundraiser focuses on kindness
NEW MILFORD — Children are able to help their classmates and their school with a new fundraiser at Sarah Noble Intermediate School that rewards students for acts of kindness.
Students are sponsored by friends and relatives either with a flat fee or by paying a certain amount for each act of kindness done during the two week period that began Monday and runs through Nov. 16. The fundraiser is run by APEX Leadership Co., which first teamed up with the school two years ago to offer a fun run.
“It runs similar to a fun run, but they’re rewarded for acts of kindness and not miles,” said PTO President Megan Byrd.
Students are being encouraged to complete acts on their own at school and home, as well as in groups at the culminating event where there will be 12 to 15 stations of kind activities. Some of the activities included will be writing notes to veterans and firefighters and signing a banner for students affected by the recent hurricanes.
The APEX Serve program has been used in 3,000 schools in 30 states, according to the company’s website.
The website describes the program as combining “fitness, fundraising and leadership into a powerful united event that builds your funds and your students’ character education.”
Byrd said the school was struck by the company’s service option and thought the message fit nicely with what the students were learning at school.
She said the lessons that coincide with the fundraiser will help instill the message of helping others and counter the idea of doing the acts to be rewarded. Each year, the company uses an acronym to share messages with students. This year’s word is STRONG, which stands for Selfless, Trustworthy, Refueled, Overcome obstacles, Next level and Grateful. Each lesson will focus on a different theme.
Byrd said the selflessness lesson will especially achieve this because it will teach the students these acts make the community a better place to live. She said this might also ripple through to the adults.
“It makes everyone’s lives better,” she said. “My overall hope is to get that spirit of kindness going in our kids.”
Byrd said she also plans to have her children present the fundraiser to their relatives as the sponsorship itself is an act of kindness for the school because the students are not directly being paid for these acts. She said if people are uncomfortable paying for these things, they’re encouraged to do an act of kindness on their own and help someone in their own community.
“It is a tricky situation where we have to explain that you don’t do kind things for money, but the money goes back to the school,” she said.
This is the PTO’s major fundraiser for the year and so Byrd hopes to raise $30,000 to $35,000 to cover a large portion of the parent group’s budget, which is used for field trips and other activities for the students.
Anyone who would like to support the campaign, but doesn’t have a student at the school can send a check for the SNIS PTO directly to the school and mark it for the fundraiser.
“I’m excited,” Byrd said.