Students share warmth with donation of spare change

Students share warmth with donation of spare change

EXETER TWP., Pa. - Hundreds of homeless people now have a warm blanket to sleep with thanks to the generosity of children.

For three months, students at Jacksonwald Elementary School in Exeter Twp., Berks Co., raised money for the non-profit organization Blankets of Hope.

"Since we're giving money to buy blankets, just because some people don't have stuff that I just wanted to give them something," said student Annika Bryan.

The school principal, Joseph Schlaffer, said the idea came from the father of two former students and founder of Blankets of Hope.  

"One of our parents came in and said if you wanted to be involved, this is a great way to bring some spare change and contribute to a good cause," said Schlaffer.

"Everyone deserves to be, to feel secure, warm and to have hope," said Marc Goldstein, the founder of Blankets of Hope, who noted that Jacksonwald students raised more than $172.

An anonymous donor, Goldstein said, matched the students' donation, boosting the total to more than $344.

"We have parents who are behind it and they want their children to do it, and I'm amazed all the time with how many children participate," said Schlaffer.

Blankets of Hope were able to buy 372 blankets for the homeless and distribute them with help from the Berks Coalition to End Homelessness.

"We distributed almost every single one of those blankets," said Ariane Cooney,  outreach case manager for the coalition.

"The community can make a difference," said Goldstein.

The blankets are going to make those in need very happy all year round, proving, Goldstein said, that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

"I enjoyed it," said Bryan.   

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