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Donnell Middle School students donate nearly $3,400 to humane society

The student-led initiative started as a penny war, but was tweaked to also include paper bills as well.

FINDLAY, Ohio — What started as a small, student-run fundraiser at Donnell Middle School grew into something much, much bigger.

"Just caring for others, caring for your community and being a part of that community," said Donnell 7th grade science teacher Mike Wilson.

Which is why Wilson helped his 7th grade homeroom class at Donnell Middle School start a fundraiser for the Hancock County Humane Society.

The idea was simple: hold a penny war and the class that raises the most money wins a prize.

"Start this fun way to interact with students in our school since we can't really do stuff since COVID," said 7th grader Reece Stillings.

And then the students who started up the penny war fundraiser decided to tweak the model a bit to include bills. 

The entire student population was all on board.

"Anything that was paper money that went into the can was 'positive,' anything that was coin money was 'negative'. And so the idea was you'd go around and sabotage other classes," said Wilson.

With an incentive to donate at your own home room and at other classrooms, the fundraiser total far surpassed anything these 7th graders had in mind.

On Tuesday, these Findlay middle-schoolers donated $3,388.26

Credit: Jon Monk
The donation was made during a small event Tuesday morning

"I was amazed, because I thought that we were just going to get, maybe, $400," said Reece.

"I was really surprised, I didn't think that we would raise that much money. And I felt really glad that everyone participated," said 7th grader Natalie Gutman.

Both the faculty and students at Donnell have a better appreciation of how much good they can do for their community when they work together.

"I think that it will inspire everyone who did it, and also the others around us to maybe do something like that, which will help out the community," said 7th grader Annabelle Barger.

The Humane Society is grateful for the donation, saying it will be used in part to vaccinate animals.

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