VC students do chores to help needy family |

VC students do chores to help needy family

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

Karen Staffen’s fourth-graders at Hugh Gallagher Elementary School were willing to do some yucky chores to help someone else.

Carson Barnes, 9, picked up dog droppings from his yard – and “they were all over,” he said.

Others had to clean up after their dogs or horses, and one boy had to scrape bird droppings off of a window. One girl who went to clean her rabbit’s cage fell into it.

All this work was done so that a family in need could have presents for Christmas.

Staffen came up with the idea to have her students do extra chores at home, for which the parents would pay them. That money would be donated to a family in Storey County that was in need this year.

Staffen got the wish list of a family of six – a husband, wife and four children, who remained anonymous – from Community Chest Inc., a social service provider in Storey County. Then the students started doing chores to help the family out.

On Monday, the students wrapped the presents they worked so hard to fund, with Staffen doing the shopping.

Sydney Clark, 9, raised $20 by shoveling snow, bringing in firewood, and washing and putting away the dishes.

“I brought it in at different times,” she said. “It feels good getting gifts for someone else.”

Brecken Hicks, 9, also shoveled snow, and he vacuumed his house for $10.

“I think it’s good to help people,” he said. “We gave the family what they needed.”

She said the kids did so well, they had more money than they needed to fill the family’s wish list.

“We were able to buy more than they asked for,” she said. “They all will be getting a little extra.”

The total amount raised was $125, and Staffen kicked in the last $4 to pay the $129 total when she went shopping for the items and wrapping material.

Jordan Seddon brought in $25 by raking her yard and helping to put up her Christmas tree. She also collected donations from others.

“They just heard about it and donated,” she said.

Velisity Barker, 9, also helped with the family tree, swept and mopped the floor, and did another yucky chore: cleaning out the cat’s litter box.

She said she liked working to help others. “It feels good, especially around the holidays.”

Staffen said the project began right before the Thanksgiving break, to give her 27 students time to raise the money. She said they brought in a little at a time, but eventually raised $125.

“I wanted to do something, and I wanted the kids to be a part of it,” she said. “I wanted them to start thinking about other people, not just me, me, me.”

• Contact Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.