Magic of Life Foundation Receives Grant From Grayson Elementary School Children
Gwinnett Students Collected Pennies to Contribute to Charities They Selected
The check for $500 came in the mail. But unlike most donations to the Magic of Life Foundation, this one came from children in kindergarten through fifth grade who collected pennies to donate to local charities.
The donation from students at Grayson Elementary School came from pennies they collected during a three and a half week period last fall with support from the Penny Harvest organization. The 1,300 students at Grayson Elementary collected a total of $3,100, and the fifth graders determined which nonprofits would receive the money.
“We were pleased to get the donation, and tremendously honored that the Grayson Elementary students selected us as a beneficiary of their fund raising,” said Dr. Wendy Hawke Lenz, chair and executive director of the Magic of Life Foundation and chief operating officer of Georgia Cancer Specialists. “We will put their money to good use helping cancer patients.”
Christine Scartz, Grayson Elementary PTA Community Outreach co-chair, read about the Penny Harvest organization and thought it would be a good way for the Gwinnett County elementary school students to learn the value of philanthropy.
“The best part of the project was that every child at the school could participate in the harvesting phase of the project just by bringing in a few pennies,” Ms. Scartz said. She said the PTA placed collection jars in every classroom from kindergarten through fifth grade, and gave all teachers a lesson plan they could share with their students.
One of the fifth graders had lost her father to cancer, and her family had worked with the Magic of Life Foundation. She brought in information about Magic of Life, and the group agreed to allocate some of the funds to the organization.
Grayson Elementary is one of two metro Atlanta schools that participated in the Penny Harvest program during the 2008-2009 school year. The school is one of more than 1,000 schools nationwide — and nearly 500,000 students — who scoured their homes and neighborhoods for idle pennies. Students use one hundred percent of the funds collected to make grants to non-profit organizations of their choice.
The Magic of Life Foundation is supported by Georgia Cancer Specialists. With 42 physicians and 30 offices, it is the largest private oncology/hematology practice in the Southeast and a national leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. The practice offers community-based medical oncology and hematology services and is the first private oncology practice to also provide a full range of support services for patients in Georgia, including nutritional counseling, pain management, wellness counseling, and home health coordination.