Mill Pond student council raises $4,644 for Ukrainian refugees, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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Students at Mill Pond Elementary School recently raised money for a variety of causes. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH – A fundraiser organized by the Mill Pond Elementary School student council in Westborough raised $4,644 to benefit various causes last month.

Half of the money raised was sent to the Red Cross to benefit Ukrainian refugees, while the other half was donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

“I thought it was a good way to kind of do a fundraiser, but keep the school spirit in it,” said Willow Henry, a sixth grade student council representative. “A lot of people got excited about it.”

Student council advisor and social studies coordinator Kristin Robertson said that the students chose St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital because they wanted to help other children. She added that many of the students are learning about the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine in their social studies classes, explaining that they wanted to do something to help refugees from the country.

For the fundraiser, each grade had a container placed in the cafeteria during lunch time. Students could put coins in their grade’s container. They were also able to put dollar bills in other grades’ containers. Coins added to each grade’s total, while the bills subtracted from them.

“A lot of people were drop- ping dollar bills into the other grade’s bins,” Henry said. “Somebody actually put a $50 bill in the fourth grade bin.”

Robertson said that Mill Pond had done coin drives in the past. This was the most successful, though, with the eventual fundraising total more than doubling students’ initial goal of $2,000 raised.

“It was probably one of my proudest moments this year, just because it was kid driven, and they reached beyond our expectations,” said Caitlin Gardner, an advisor to the student council and digital media specialist in the Mill Pond School Library.

Henry said that each grade won an extra recess for their participation in the contest. Due to the competition’s success, she added, she would not be surprised if Mill Pond holds another fundraiser like this in the future.

The student council will next work on its Springfest program, a fundraiser for the Mill Pond Parent Group on Thursday, May 26 that will feature raffles and food trucks.

Speaking on the now completed coin drive, Robertson also thanked UniBank in Grafton, which assisted in counting the coins through use of a coin-counting machine.

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