Grade 6 students in Tracy McElhinney’s classroom worked together to raise funds and provide assistance to a family in need.

Students support a family in need

The ability for children to use their creative imaginations is evident in Tracy McElhinney’s Grade 6 class.

The ability for children to use their creative imaginations is evident in Tracy McElhinney’s Grade 6 class. Even though they will not meet the family they are sponsoring this Christmas, imagining their joy has motivated them to give.

“Miss McElhinney asked the class  who would be interested in raising money to sponsor a family in need and right away all the hands went up, the smiles went on the faces and the excitement started,” explained Teaching Assistant, Lorie Blake.

The first fundraiser the class held was a bake sale and a total of $267 was raised over the course of one lunch hour.

Spurred on by their success and enthusiasm they began to brainstorm on how they could raise more money.

“We came up with a movie buy out,” said Blake. “We offered all the grade sixes an opportunity to buy out of their afternoon classes to come and watch a movie that our class was going to host.”

Tickets to the movie were sold for $2 and candy and popcorn could be bought for $1.

The students had managed to raise a grand total of $502.75 as a result of their fundraising efforts.

McElhinney contacted the South Okanagan Women in Need Society, who provided the class with the wish list of a single mom and her eight year old son.

As part of a math lesson, McElhinney had the students go on-line to price out the items on the list. They figured out how far their budget would go in fulfilling the wishes.

Due to the students careful budgeting and the wise shopping of McElhinney and Blake, nearly all of the items on the list were purchased.

“When Ms. McElhinney and Mrs. Blake showed us all the stuff they had bought it kind of made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, knowing that we were giving a family  a nice Christmas,” said Makenna Kunka.

Mekenna Quinton said “I think Ms. McElhinney and Mrs. Blake did really good on helping our class do fundraising. They did donations of their own and they spent a lot of time going out and finding stuff,” she said.

Fredo Monaghan noted the help the two women had received from their significant others when he said,

“I’m giving a big shout out to Mr. Blake and to Sean because they helped out a lot with the donations.” He also pointed out, “Even if we didn’t get everything on the family’s list, you still feel good because Christmas isn’t really about giving presents, but it’s more about the love and joy that you get from each other.”

Blake explained that the goal had been to show the students what it feels like to give to others.

Judging by the comments made by some of the students, it would seem that they had been successful.

“It feels good to be able to help and know that they will have a good Christmas. I like spoiling them,” said Micheal Schramm.

Kenya Vandelft said that she would think of the family when she woke up on Christmas morning. “I’ll feel happy because I’ll know they will be just as happy.”

“It felt really good just knowing that we’re going to help that family put stuff under their tree” said Haley Graham.

Noah Rich explained it by saying, “I’m really happy because we get to make two more people happy!”

Haley Wiens said, “I feel really good that the family is going to have as good of a Christmas as we are and they will be really happy when they wake up.”

“I’m more excited to know that someone else is going to be happy and get to open gifts and not to just get gifts for myself,” said Kira Nilson.

The teacher had also talked to the students about how the family would feel when they received the gifts.

Tyler Algar had no trouble imagining this.

“They’re faces are just going to light up when they see all their presents that we got them,” he said.  Also by using his imagination Aidan Evans said, “In my mind right now I can see their faces just lighting up and they will probably feel pretty blessed.”


If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.