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Students collect stuffed animals for children in need of a special friend

| February 22, 2017

picture of grade 3 students with pile of stuffed animalsAs part of Southgate Elementary School’s annual Friendship Week celebration, students were encouraged to wear red on Tuesday, Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day) and to do something kind for someone else. 

Patty Pinkham’s third-grade class went above and beyond with an act of kindness that will benefit many somebodies. In the days leading to Friendship Week, students began collecting stuffed toys for a nonprofit organization called Grassroot Givers, which provides assistance to individuals and families in need living in Capital Region communities.

Pinkham’s students amassed dozens of gently used stuffed animals including puppies, bunnies, kitties, bears, ponies and beloved movie characters such as Stuart the playful one-eyed minion, Olaf the friendly snowman from Frozen, and Red Bird of Angry Birds fame to donate to the Grassroot Community Store in Albany. The store offers families living in poverty or in homeless shelters an opportunity to shop for essential items free of charge.

The third-graders had one final task to complete before the toys could be delivered. They wrote kind and hopeful messages on “I care” gift tags, and attached the notes to the toys with ribbon.

“The stuffed animals will soon be in the hands of local children who otherwise may not have a special friend,” Pinkham said. “This was a great way for students to share once-treasured belongings, knowing that it will provide comfort and friendship to other children.”picture of grade 3 student writing message on gift tag

Southgate’s Friendship Week

Friendship Week at Southgate Elementary School is a week-long celebration during which the school community is encouraged to wear a different color each day that represents a theme and participate in special activities that promote friendship.

This year, Southgate celebrated friendship the week of Feb. 13-17 with the following themes:

  • On Monday, students wore white to represent peaceful friendships and problem solving.
  • Students donned the color red on Tuesday and were encouraged to do something kind for someone that day.
  • Wednesday’s color was yellow and students were reminded of the Golden Rule – to treat others the way they would like to be treated.
  • On Thursday, students sported Bison Blue to promote loyalty, kindness and being a true-blue Bison friend.
  • Finally, students dressed in green on Friday in honor of growing new friendships.

More about Grassroot Givers

Grassroot Givers connects community needs and those who have resources to share. The organization’s focus is to give with dignity, to empower individuals and families who are trying to improve their lives and help them move closer to achieving sustainable independence.

Grassroot Givers collects like-new donations including clothing for children and adults, accessories, housewares, linens, small toys and books for all ages, and share these resources with individuals, nonprofits, academic programs, literacy projects and other agencies that serve those in need. Visit the Grassroot Givers website to learn more.

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