Colorado Springs 6th Grader helps raise money, items for homeless youth

A Colorado Springs sixth-grader from Mountain Song Community spend her Sunday donating items...
A Colorado Springs sixth-grader from Mountain Song Community spend her Sunday donating items they gathered to help those experiencing homelessness in our Community.(KKTV)
Published: Feb. 6, 2022 at 3:02 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado Springs sixth-grader from Mountain Song Community spent her Sunday donating items they gathered to help those experiencing homelessness in our community.

Back in December, someone decided the school’s garden would be a good place to spend the night and make a small fire. The next morning the school found remnants of the fire and some trash in the area but there was no real damage done to the garden.

“The whole story behind it was we had someone experiencing homelessness stayed overnight in our little garden and we were proud that it was a very welcoming place but they had a small fire and that was a concern for us and when we were cleaning up the remnants of the fire all of the six graders were very very focused on the fire and how close it was to the garden beds and things like that,” says Matt Thomas, the agricultural arts teacher at Mountain Song Community School.

That’s when Jolena, said, “This is so sad! Maybe we could do a fundraiser to help the homeless?” and the school jumped into action. Her class was able to raise $120.19 along with several other tangible items for the non-profit organization, The Place.

“She asked us point-blank can we do a fundraiser to support the homeless in our community and I thought about it and said why not?” said Thomas. “We have three microwaves a toaster a whole lot of toiletries, shaving cream, shampoos. We have little tide pods and laundry detergent, a lot of non-perishable food, Some yoga mats, and tennis rackets. I even saw some headphones in there, some brand new snow gloves. Just really anything that the place has a need for we tried to find it” said Thomas.

“One day while I came to school, I walked on the stairs, because that’s where the middle school, is and there was just all the stuff there like microwaves and yoga mats. And it was so crazy it was like on a bench there were so many things, like paper towels and Windex, and yoga mats. It was just awesome!” said Jolena.

The Place tells 11 News they are thankful for donations like these that help keep them up and running to help young people in the community. “Jolena just made a huge difference in one person’s life for that day,” says Paige Dubman, from The Place. “She just wants people to have a place to stay and warm food to eat and it’s pretty incredible because the amount of money raised is right around the mark of what it cost for one person to stay in our shelter for one day”.

Jolena, and her teacher, hope stepping up to make a difference in the community makes a ripple effect in this community and plans to do it again.

“It’s important because I think that everyone deserves a warm place and food on their table every day and every night,” says Jolena. “Just thinking about it right now just gives me goosebumps and I did the moment too,” says Thomas. “I can say without a doubt, the impact of Jolena’s actions today had a huge impact on our school. It was just so impressive watching all of those kids bring in pocket change and throw it in a jar, and to see the sixth graders watch their moms and dads bring in grocery bags filled with all sorts of things to be given away. It had a huge ripple of fact within our small community”.

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