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Westridge fifth-grader leads fundraising campaign


Peyton Holstein, 11, has a history of giving

A Westridge Elementary School fifth-grader headed a campaign to support Clackamas County children who don’t have a mom or dad around to fill their school bags with supplies.

For Peyton Holstein’s “A Gift From the Heart” campaign, she and other Westridge students loaded 45 backpacks with academic equipment for foster children.

When it comes to helping other people, “it doesn’t really matter how old you are,” said Peyton, 11.by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Peyton Holstein, 11, put together a campaign to give 45 backpacks to Clackamas County foster children.

She led the 14-day fundraiser last month, collecting almost $3,000 worth of school supplies.

The summer after third grade, Peyton discovered the program, conducted through the state Department of Human Services. Her older brother was participating, putting together one backpack, and she helped.

She said she loves to do community service because it makes her feel good.

“I thought that I should get the word out and say (to other people): ‘Why don’t you do this too,’ so you can feel that too,” Peyton said.

During the summer after fourth grade, she ran a lemonade stand to support her project. This fall, Peyton used her proceeds to build seven backpacks. It costs about $75 per backpack. Supplies include spiral notebooks, crayons and markers.

A few weeks after that successful endeavor, Peyton asked Westridge Principal Scott Lane if she could run a school-wide campaign to create even more backpacks. Peyton, her mother by her side, presented the idea to Lane with a PowerPoint presentation. She won him over.

Peyton and her fellow students staffed a table in the school lobby before the morning bell from Feb. 14 to 28 to provide information on the project and to accept donations of school supplies or dollars.

Peyton has a history of giving. She raised $90 for the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center for the cardiovascular unit after her grandfather had open-heart surgery in early 2010. She also was a key part of a family and friends team that gathered $3,000 for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure after her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis in 2011.

“I think this shows how one child can make a difference and how important it is as residents to continue to invest in our students,” said Peyton’s mother, Allison Holstein.