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A little change goes a long way

Molly Shore

Hannah Richards, a second-grade student at American Lutheran School,

already knows a lot about the tropical rain forests.

“They lose about two football fields of trees and plants every


day,” the 8-year-old said.

Since the beginning of the school year, Hannah and her classmates

have been doing something to combat the loss, raising money so

parcels of tropical rain forest can be purchased to preserve trees.


Students in kindergarten through fifth grade selected charities to

benefit from their fund-raising efforts, which totaled $648.27. In

addition to helping preserve the rain forests, money raised will be

donated to Boys Town, Los Angeles Mission, Make-A-Wish Foundation,

Burbank Animal Shelter and Ronald McDonald House.

Sherrie Caldwell, spring activities director of the school’s

Parent-Teacher Organization, came up with the idea for the Change for

a Cause fund-raising effort when her son, Matthew, 9, suggested that


the school annually donate money to charity.

Caldwell said she was pleasantly surprised to see the children

were excited about giving their money to charities, adding that

large, plastic water bottles were placed in each classroom to collect


“This isn’t all parents’ money,” she said. “This is from the kids’

piggy banks, as well.”

Third-grader Todd Weaver loves animals, and said he wanted to help


in any way he can. He is glad his class is contributing to the animal


“We’re trying our hardest to save them,” Todd said. “It’s hard to

raise money to save all the animals, and we’re losing a lot of them.”

Joanne Biondi, who has been the school’s principal for 10 years,

said her students know they’re loved.

“That’s what opens up their hearts and makes them feel good about

giving,” she said.