Students collect "Pennies for Patients"

Students collect "Pennies for Patients"

A special group of East Texas students are going above and beyond, raising money to help kids battling Leukemia and Lymphoma. CBS 19's Amanda Roberson has more on these kids special mission.

West Rusk Elementary students just wrapped up the first of three weeks of fundraising for a project called "Pennies for Patients". The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society reached out to the school's nurse about the campaign because it's a fund raiser happening state-wide. And even though it's their first year to participate, these students have already gone above and beyond expectation.

West Rusk Elementary School has about 300 kids kindergarten through second grade and they've already passed their goal of collecting $500. In the first week alone they collected $600 bucks and all of that money will go towards research for leukemia.

This is the first year for West Rusk to be a part of the "Pennies for Patients" campaign, but students like second grader Blane Minor said they're happy to help other kids battling a deadly blood disease. "Without any money they can't eat and they can't get better. Sometimes I ask my mom or my grandma if I can have a dollar or something but you can just, like if one's laying on the sidewalk, you can pick it up and put it in the boxes you carry home. The next day you come to school and you put it in your class box."

Even though the students have gone above and beyond their goal, they're not slowing down. Next year teachers hope to expand the challenge by including the intermediate school in the "Pennies for Patients" challenge.

While students are learning a lot about helping others at a young age, there are also some big incentives at the elementary school. Principal Michelle Cline said when they reach the $500 goal the students could duck tape her to a wall, and now that's guaranteed to happen. If second grade wins the teachers will spray paint their hair a crazy color and of course, a pizza party for the class with most pennies collected.

West Rusk Elementary also encourages the community to get involved. People are invited to drop off extra cash and "Pennies for Patients" at the school's front office.


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