Sutter Elementary School’s cafeteria was in fundraiser mode for JW House on Dec. 16, the night of the school’s second and fourth grade holiday program. The bake sale treats included big, salted caramel cupcakes and marshmallow treats in rectangular blocks. The JW House Giving Tree was decorated with ornaments naming wish list items.
“My class just decided they wanted to do a charity project this year and so we had a class meeting,” says Marlene Wilhelm, a fourth grade teacher, whose class is overseeing the fundraiser. “They came with their ideas and we voted on the JW House, which is within walking distance of our school. The students wanted to do work with a charity that wouldn’t be a one-time event where we just donate at Christmas time. We want to work with this charity all year long.”
In addition to gift card sales via the giving tree, Wilhelm’s fourth grade class has raised $300 so far. After listening to the children sing holiday favorites, such as Jingle Bell Rock and Donde Esta Santa Claus, parents and attendees of the holiday concert purchased baked goods. They also took wish list ornaments off the giving tree with a commitment to return with the requested items. Students in the class have been packing donated items in paper bags.
“Someone from JW house told me that their wagon broke this week, and that’s something they definitely use and they could use a new one,” Wilhelm says. “So we plan to buy a new wagon for JW House from some of the money raised at the fundraiser. In the spring, we’re going to do a walking field trip to the JW House and bring over some book bags filled with toys, games, and coloring books for the kids to use during treatment.”
April Bignell, family services director of JW House, is grateful for the contributions of Wilhelm’s class.
“It’s heartwarming to hear that the kids worked so hard on coming up with a creative way to raise money through their bake sale and [giving tree] at their holiday program,” Bignell says. “I heard the teacher saying that the students and their families were going to Bed Bath and Beyond or Target to purchase items on our wish list.”
“Because of these donations, we will be able to use available funds for our guest assistance program for those families who struggle to make ends meet,” Bignell continues. “It means so much to families for them to know that people that they’ve never met care enough to do something like this. There are other schools that do fundraisers [for JW House], but this one has gone far and above to help us.”
JW House is an independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit hospital hospitality house offering overnight and day use services for families of patients receiving treatment in hospitals nearby. Visit www.jwhouse.org for more information about JW House.