Students give money back to help others

Three fourth-graders at Wapakoneta Elementary School gave back their earnings from an economic project to help others.

Braden Fisher, Taylor Schneider and Hannah Feathers all elected on their own to give their $5 initial investment that was returned to them as profit to the Ronald McDonald House, the school’s community service learning project.

“I felt like people at the Ronald McDonald House needed our help and support,” Braden said. “They are sicker than I am.”

While Braden collects pop can tabs each year for the project and enlists his extended family to help, he said he just felt like this was something else he could do.

“It’s really, really important to help other people, to make their lives not so painful and make them better,” the 10-year-old boy said. “Ronald McDonald House does a good job of helping kids and their families and we need to support that.”

The son of Kristi and Dan Fisher said giving to others is something his parents instilled in him and his sisters, but the decision to give the money back was his own and happened before he could talk it over with his parents.

Braden said when his mother got an email from his teacher telling her about it, she had tears in her eyes.

Braden said after his teacher handed the $5 back to him, he waited until the end of the day, not wanting to interrupt class and asked if he could give it instead to the Ronald McDonald House.

“I knew my parents wouldn’t mind,” Braden said.

He said it took hard work for the students to be successful at their candy-making business, for which high profits allowed the start up funding to be returned.

“It was a good experience,” Braden said, explaining it demonstrated the importance of sticking with something and what can happen in business.

It was a fun lesson he had looked forward to all year, one that even had him hoping for a certain fourth-grade teacher so he would get to do it.

“The Ronald McDonald House is a charity for kids in the hospital,” Taylor said.

She said it gives parents a place to stay that is “right there” where the kids need them instead of having to travel back and forth.

“I couldn’t live without my parents,” the daughter of Nanette and Nick Schneider said.

The 10-year-old said she wanted to give back her $5 to give them a better chance of success.

“I already knew I would give my money back if I got it to support this so I asked my teacher if I could,” Taylor said.

She said like Braden, her parents also have always encouraged her to help others.

“The Ronald McDonald House is good because it makes people feel better,” Taylor said. “It needs money to support it so I wanted to give what I have and help.”

She also has donated pop can tabs to be recycled with the proceeds going toward the service learning project in the past. During the summer, her family always fills a jug of them with her extended family helping to collect them as well.

“I didn’t want to be selfish about it,” Hannah said of her decision to give her start-up money back. “It is for a good cause. I thought to give the money instead of keeping it would be a good choice. If I kept it, I wouldn’t have done anything with it.”

The daughter of Nikki and Kenny Feathers said the work they did to earn the money back with their candy business wasn’t easy at all. They had to stand on their feet all day.

“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Hannah said. “I’ve never gotten money back I could actually give until now.”