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Oakdale students give to The Road Home

Wednesday, January 02, 2013707 views

The holidays can be tough on those who are struggling financially, but students and families at Oakdale Elementary School helped make this holiday season better for some.

The school’s fifth grade Peer Leadership Team led a fundraiser to provide Christmas dinner for 230 residents of the Midvale’s The Road Home. During the first two weeks of December, the students wrapped gifts at a local Barnes and Noble for cash donations. They also received large donations from a Wendy’s restaurant and several private individuals. By the end of the fundraiser, Oakdale gathered a total of $1,200, which was $200 more than their original goal, and easily three times the amount needed for the project.

“It means a lot to [the students],” PLT Co-coordinator Elcena Davenport said. “It’s important to them to make the school and community a better place.”

This is Oakdale’s first year doing this project. Hopefully it will show The Road Home residents that they are not forgotten, and there are still people who care about them and want to help, Davenport said.

The dinner was held on Dec. 17, with 25 students and four parents there to serve the meal and help out with other needs at The Road Home.

The students got more out of it than anyone, because now they know even a small kindness like making dinner for someone can make a huge difference in a life, PLT Co-coordinator Julie Elderidge said.

Oakdale also continued their traditional “Giving Tree” this year. The tree was covered with ornaments—handmade by the PLT students—which parents could take home and then bring back to the school the needed items written on them.

“The kids are the ones who encourage their parents to take ornaments,” Davenport said.

Through the Giving Tree, the Oakdale community donated three truckfulls of hygiene items, used clothing and new toys for children at the Road Home.

“It’s critical that [students this age] understand that the world is full of people with needs greater than theirs,” Principal Alice Peck said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to put themselves in other people’s shoes.”

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