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Making a difference, one donation at a time

Grade school students raise more than $500 for St. Helens warming center


SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - Molly Wheeldon, a sixth-grader at Lewis and Clark Elementary School, presents a check for $563.81 to Jan Stites, the Community Action Team Warming Center coordinator, Tuesday, Feb. 23. Molly Wheeldon, a sixth-grader at Lewis and Clark Elementary School, presented a check for $563.81 to Jan Stites, the Community Action Team Warming Center coordinator, Tuesday, Feb. 23, after organizing a fundraiser earlier this month.

Wheeldon organized a week-long fundraiser at the elementary school to raise money for the warming center, a seasonal shelter in St. Helens that provides food and overnight housing for homeless people in Columbia County. With encouragement from her language arts and social studies teacher, Catherine Contrereas, Wheeldon placed milk jugs in 29 classrooms in the school to collect donations. Wheeldon came up with the fundraiser idea out of her own desire to help those in need.

“I believe that everyone should have equal living and people should all have a place to stay and something to eat,” Wheeldon said when asked why she was passionate about helping individuals who are homeless.

Stites said she felt incredibly blessed to receive the donation from Wheeldon. She said she plans to use the money to buy games and care items for children who come to the warming center, as well as food and care supplies for next year.