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5th graders present big check to help homeless

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Students in Assami Potter’s homeroom class at J.L. Francis Elementary are turning their classroom lesson into a life lesson, and giving back to the homeless in the community. The small groups of fifth graders are making a big difference.

Potter recently saw a CBS 6 News story about the organization called Have A Heart 4 The Homeless struggling to collect donations for homeless men and women this holiday season.

“We just wanted to help out,” Potter explained. “All of the kids pitched in and staff pitched in and we raised money.”

Potter said the main thing she wanted them to know is “we’re here to help somebody else.”

Students like Madison Kitts got to put their classroom lessons to good use. The students explained that they have a mini economy within the class, teaching them how to use and save money and how to produce a product.

The students gathered goodies like potato chips, fruit cups, fruit snacks and bottled water to sell to customers at their school. That’s how they raised $100 to donate to Have A Heart 4 The Homeless.

Organizers Joe’I Chancellor and Janasee Estep were extremely touched by the kind gesture.

They said it meant even more to them because some of the students who helped donate come from neighborhoods that may be economically challenged.

Just before their lunch period on Wednesday, the excited students gathered in their classroom, and joined Mr. Potter in presenting the check to Chancellor and Estep.

Kitts, the President of Mr. Potter’s class said they’ve been taught how good it is to help others.

When asked why this was so important to her, she replied, “So people out in the cold can have some warm stuff.”

Chancellor and Estep told the students that the money they donated will be used to purchase 100 pairs of gloves that will be given to homeless men and women around Richmond.

Have A Heart 4 The Homeless will host a Christmas Eve party for the homeless and gifts from the students will end up under the Christmas tree.

The group is still seeking donations of new and gently used coats, boots, hats, blankets and other warm items.

They are also collecting toiletries that will be given out at the event.

Volunteers are needed to wrap the items in the days leading up to the Christmas Eve party.
If you can help with the wrapping, or want to serve a hot meal to the homeless during the event, call Chancellor at 804-909-4090.

You can also call that number to set up a time to drop off donations.