The Boyce Middle School community recently raised nearly $3,000 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Pittsburgh. In addition, students collected several large boxes of supplies to help restock the organization’s pantry, which is used by families during their stay at the Ronald McDonald House.
The community service project was one component of the school’s Random Acts of Kindness Week, which was held Feb. 13-16. The effort was led by school counselors Amy Antonio and Tonia Autieri and the Boyce Middle School Student Council Outreach Committee.
“The goal of Random Acts of Kindness Week is to bring more awareness to being kind and to celebrate how we can become a positive influence in each other’s lives,” Autieri said. “We reiterated in our guidance lessons how important it is to be respectful and kind to all people.”
As a Valentine’s Day fundraiser, students and families could purchase a Valentine Gram. In exchange for a donation, personalized notes, along with a Pop It, were delivered to students on Valentine’s Day. The goal was to raise $1,000. Autieri was not surprised when they far exceeded that goal.
“I wasn’t surprised because our families are so giving and help with great causes all of the time,” she said. “It makes me feel very fortunate to be part of a community that values helping others and giving back. It’s amazing!”
The Ronald McDonald House Pittsburgh provides 74 single-family apartments to families with seriously ill children receiving medical treatment nearby. The pantry helps to provide additional support to families during their stay. Needed items included individually packaged snacks as well as single serving cereals, soups and pasta.
“We have raised money for the Ronald McDonald house in the past, and we always collect pop tabs,” Mrs. Antonio said. “The students always feel very invested in helping the Ronald McDonald House organization.”
Each of Boyce’s eight teams was assigned a non-perishable food item to help in the effort. The supplies were delivered on Feb. 20.
To kick-off Random Acts of Kindness Week, student mentors from Upper St. Clair High School conducted an activity in each homeroom. The week featured theme days as well as intentional projects during guidance class that encouraged students to think about others. Students wrote positive notes to their Boyce teachers and sent cards to their former elementary teachers.
“This initiative is extremely important for our students and school community,” Autieri said. “In order to make a difference, we have to work together to bring kindness into the world. It starts with being kind to one another, which then can lead to others being kind to people outside our schools and into places like grocery stores, doctors’ offices, etc.”
All students received a Tag, You’re It card. As students completed random acts of kindness, their card was passed along to someone else who, in turn, completed another random act of kindness.
In addition, students completed coloring pages to send to Color A Smile, a nonprofit organization that distributes cheerful drawings to senior citizens, U.S. troops overseas, and anyone in need of a smile.
“We talked to the kids about being leaders and showing others how kindness brings joy and positivity to situations,” Autieri said. “They can lead by example and be part of making a difference.”
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