In this season of giving and hope, Minnetonka students came together to help children with cancer and their families. Students from all six elementary schools in the Minnetonka School District set out with the ambitious goal of raising $5,000 for the Pinky Swear Foundation, a charity dedicated to helping families with financial and emotional support.
That goal was smashed. Through their generosity and determination, Minnetonka students raised three times their initial goal, accumulating more than $15,000 for the charity.
Ms. Erica Campbell, Executive Director of the Pinky Swear Foundation, and her colleague Leslie Sonnen visited Minnewashta Elementary, whose students raised the most donations, to show their appreciation to everyone who helped make this a successful event.
Ms. Campbell said that Minnetonka students, "stepped up and exceeded all our expectations and all our goals. [They] were able to help us help a family with a child battling cancer... and have made this holiday season better for them." Ms. Campbell also commented on the power of kids to take the lead and make a significant difference in the lives of others. "Because of these students, we can help families pay their rent, car payment, utility bills or purchase food so they can focus on what's most important, their child."
Gabi Feygin, a fifth grader at Minnewashta who helped lead fundraising efforts, has a personal connection with helping those in need. "It means a lot for my family," said Gabi, "because when my mom was 13, her dad was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer. After he died they found a $10,000 check left by an anonymous stranger to help them get through this really hard time. We want to pay it forward and help others just like help had been given to my mom's family."The Pinky Swear Foundation was inspired by Mitch Chepokas, a nine-year-old boy diagnosed with bone cancer, who gave away all his money to help buy presents for other kids suffering from cancer. Since his death in 2003, the Pinky Swear Foundation has provided more than $4.5 million in financial assistance and quality of life support to struggling families. Visit https://www.pinkyswear.org/ to learn more about their organization or apply for support.