Symmes students raise ‘Pennies for Patients’
Willow Wood — Three years ago when Ervin White, a Symmes Valley student, was in Children’s Hospital fighting for his life while undergoing treatments for leukemia, the Symmes Valley Elementary Student Council set out on a mission to raise funds to find a cure for leukemia.
Ervin is now back at school and doing well, but the students have continued to raise funds with the goal of one day eliminating leukemia.
The student council coordinates the Pennies for Patients campaign each year.
Pennies for Patients is one of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s national School and Youth Programs that raises money to find cures for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma while providing information and support services to patients and their families.
Pennies for Patients teaches students caring, sharing, respect for others and the value of community service, in addition to supporting an important cause.
Nearly 912,900 Americans are currently battling blood cancers, and leukemia remains the leading cause of disease-related death among children younger than 20.
The Pennies for Patients campaign ran for a two-week period from Feb. 21 to March 4.
Students at Symmes Valley Elementary raised $3,301.90 this year, mostly in loose change, which brings the three-year total to nearly $6,000.00 donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to advance its mission to find a cure.
With this, Symmes Valley Elementary will be awarded with the honor of being a “Lifesaver School” for the second consecutive year by the LLS. “It was so inspiring to see the Symmes Valley students volunteer and really care about helping others,” said Betsy Ruwe of the LLS. “It’s a program that is truly meaningful for them because leukemia is a disease that impacts children, and the students learn that they can really make a difference.”
This amount is even more astonishing when you realize that Pennies for Patients is a secondary project at Symmes Valley. At Symmes Valley, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life takes center stage.
“We have donated over $100,000 to the American Cancer Society over the past five years, and we are now beginning our campaign for this year. Hopefully we will be near $25,000 this year alone,” said Lance Humphrey, Symmes Valley Elementary Student Council adviser.
“Symmes Valley is a very special place with many caring people. We, as teachers, try to instill the values of helping others and community service into our students, but the truth is that many times the students help to instill those values in us adults.”
Pennies for Patients is just one of the many projects at the school that have begun at the request of students who want to help.
“We can change the world if we all work at it hard enough,” said James Shepherd, eighth grader and student council president.
For more information about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, visit www.lls.org.