Forty-nine students from Baley Middle School in Royse City came together to help less-fortunate children this holiday season with a large donation to Toys for Tots of Hunt County.
An RCISD school bus filled with BMS students pulled into the lot at the Texas Farm Bureau insurance office off of FM 35 in Royse City to complete the donation. Students poured out of the bus, carrying 166 toys to place in the Toys for Tots boxes.
The service project was carried out by the eighth-grade “Leadworthy” class taught by Shaun Amador at BMS. The class is based on fostering leadership skills and building character in students. Amador says that a service project is part of the class.
“We do a fundraiser at the beginning of the year, and it’s their responsibility to figure out how they are going to raise the money,” Amador said. “We wanted to spend the majority of the money on kids at Christmas.”
Amador gave credit to Jana Helmer, a teacher at Williams Middle School in Rockwall for the inspiration for the project.
The 49 students raised more than $1,700 through charity volleyball games, bake sales and even door-to-door donations. About $1,000 was spent on purchasing the toys on Friday. Another chunk of that will be donated to the families of the four Community ISD students who were killed in a car accident earlier this fall. The remaining funds will go toward a BMS coach whose husband is in need of a liver transplant.
Karys Oubre is a student in the Leadworthy class. Oubre says that her small group raised more than $800 by planning the charity volleyball game. She says that the donations started slow, but she wanted to plan something big to bring in donations.
“I didn’t want to be that one kid who raises $10,” Oubre said. “It took us about a month and a half to plan [the volleyball game] and I felt like it really came together.”
She says that the project is a good experience for serving others later in life.
“I want to do something big that will impact people’s lives,” Oubre said. “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up yet, but I know I want to do something good that helps other people.”
Amador says that the class does a lot to instill good values in young people.
“My goal is for students to leave my class with a love for service and helping others,” Amador said. “They knew where the money was going, so I think that is why they were able to do such a good job.”