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St. Charles School students pay it forward

Feb. 4, 2013

Village of Hartland - St. Charles Catholic School students are "paying it forward," thanks to a $500 donation from Milwaukee's Catholic Financial Life.

The not-for-profit financial services organization provided a donation of $500 Dec. 5 - $50 to each class at St. Charles, which the students would then be expected to grow into a larger sum to be donated to charity.

The students have managed to turn that $500 donation into $5,000, thanks to some creative thinking. The seventh-grade class organized a "pajama day" at the school, where students could pay a dollar and come to school in more-relaxed dress. Principal Laura Anderson said the class earned about $250 on that day alone. The second-grade class organized a community walk/run for the end of the school year. Students will collect pledges from parents and community members to grow their donation.

Anderson said the "$50 challenge" idea came from another school in the diocese. The two goals of the event are simple: Grow your money and then pay it forward to somebody in need.

"It helps our children realize what others need and give back to them," Anderson said.

The classes each get to choose an organization to donate its proceeds to. A few ideas so far include an organization that purchases farm animals for villages in poorer nations, diabetes research and the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha.

Anderson said the school has not yet decided whether it will organize the event again next year.

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