Northwood student raising funds to pay off school lunch debt

Northwood student raising funds to pay off school lunch debt

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  • January 15, 2023
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Most second graders see crayons as a tool for coloring. Northwood second-grader Anna Farley saw it as a way to erase some of her classmates’ school meal debt.

“I really wanted to do it because I wanted to make money for the school,” she said. “I’m giving it to them so they can give it to the kids and the kids can give it to their parents. I’m helping them get school lunches. It’s very exciting for me.”

Around Christmas, Anna decided she wanted to give back, so she and her mother, Julie Farley, worked together to peel the paper labels off crayons. Then, they crushed them down and put the pieces into molds, creating new designs once the wax melted and firmed. Those designs include mermaid tails, zoo animals, dog paws, owls, unicorns, stars, and letters and numbers for customized messages. She’s selling those creations for $1 each, except the owls, which are 50 cents each, Julie Farley said.

“We started off with (crayons) we had at home but we’ve been getting donations for used crayons from people,” Julie Farley said. “I’d say we’ve gone through 48 boxes of 24 crayons (each).”

Julie Farley helped spread the word through a post on her personal Facebook page, which has been shared 15 times. Anna had raised more than $100 as of Friday, and while some people have bought the recycled crayon designs, others have donated without a purchase, Julie Farley said.

“When she came to me and told me what she wanted to do, I thought it was a really sweet idea,” she said. “She has such a caring heart and I wanted to make sure it happened because it’s something she was so passionate about.”

The process isn’t easy. From peeling the paper off the crayons, crushing them up to fit in the molds and melting them, Julie Farley estimates the pair has spent 10 hours on the creations. Anna has since approached her principal, Andrea Korreck, about her idea. The project says a lot about Anna’s generosity toward others, Korreck said.

“I think any time a student, especially a young student, initiates kindness and generosity through their own endeavors, it’s something to be celebrated,” she said. “To pay off lunch debts is not necessarily something Anna will see the results of. What’s important is Anna knows internally what her intentions were and trust it’s helping someone.”

People interested in donating or buying the crayon creations can call Julie Farley at 317-372-0638.

“She has such a big spirit to help others and I think if she could help just one person it would make her happy,” Julie Farley said. “I think donating money to the school lunch fund will be a good donation as far as helping the community.”

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