Students Raise Thousands for Angel Tree

Tuesday, December 2nd 2008, 8:06 pm
By: News 9

By Richard Clark and Terry Hood, for NEWS 9

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A group of Tulsa students is learning some unforgettable lessons this month, outside of the classroom. The students at Monte Cassino Middle School were given a straightforward assignment: raise as much money as possible for the Salvation Army's Angel Tree.

"We are looking for some jeans, and maybe some other pants, and some shirts," said the students.

The children spent Tuesday morning at Woodland Hills Malls using the money they raised to buy presents for specific children identified by the Salvation Army. The whole class raised more than $11,000 for the cause. The teacher gave the students only a few rules.

"They had to organize their activities in the evenings or the weekends and put out flyers. They made phone calls, but they could not do anything on campus," said Monte Cassino teacher, Debbie Coleman.

That left the kids free to use their imaginations to dream up all kinds of ways to raise money.

They raked leaves. They babysat. They did chores around the house, whatever they could think of. The girls had no trouble discussing their real motivation, but it was a different story for the boys.

"We get to skip school. That's the best part," said Monte Cassino sixth grader, Andrew Conn.

Another agreed it is inspiring to help others have a good holiday.

"That's really nice, because other people in need don't usually get very good Christmases. So, they can get stuff they need, like underwear and clothes, but then, we can give them stuff they want," said Monte Cassino sixth grader, John Seely.

The teacher said the idea behind the assignment was to teach the students as many lessons as possible.

"They've got to learn something from it that's academic as well as from the heart. These kids are so excited to be here and they're so proud of what they've done," said Monte Cassino teacher, Debbie Coleman.

But, even the teacher couldn't predict what some of the kids learned, when they made $400 with a bake sale in front of a law office.

"Lawyers can eat, apparently," said Monte Cassino sixth grader, Erin McCarthy.

All kidding aside, the sixth graders said shopping for needy children really made them feel good.

They adopted 80 angels.

The Salvation Army's Angel Tree will be at Woodland Hills Mall through December 24.