Norman Rockwell Elementary community rallies around a child in need | Slideshow
By ANDY NYSTROM
Redmond Reporter Editor
March 8, 2013 · 1:53 PM
Some Norman Rockwell Elementary School students have mixed emotions when they think about the young boy who had a malignant tumor removed from his brain and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
Jacobi H. (last name withheld for privacy reasons) is certainly a cute 2-year-old, said Rockwell fifth-grader Rabeeya Asif, who met the boy and his family during a recent assembly at the school, which has raised $7,000 at press time through the Sparrow Clubs USA program to help pay for Jacobi’s medical expenses.
Asif added: “But sometimes I feel really sad when I look at him because he has to eat through that tube thing and he doesn’t know where he is a lot… I feel really good at the end of the day when I know that I’m helping somebody.”
Fellow fifth-graders Eliana Pollock, Sydney Trzupek and Keshav Krishnan are also pleased with their efforts to help Jacobi, who ran around the Rockwell gym while screaming, clapping and blowing kisses to the crowd during the assembly.
They all said it was a fun experience. Krishnan spoke with Jacobi and noted that he’s a happy and playful boy despite everything he’s had to deal with at such a young age.
This is the first year the Rockwell community has sponsored a child in need through Sparrow Clubs USA, said fifth-grade teacher Mary Kay Weinmeister. They adopted Jacobi in January and announced all the details to the students and staff members about two weeks ago. Donations came flowing in right away with people handing off money or buying T-shirts and bracelets; tonight, the Rockwell PTA will host a fund-raiser “Parent’s Night Out” movie and pizza night. Frankie’s Pizza and Pasta will be whipping up 47 pizzas at a 60 percent discount for the event.
Based in Bend, Ore., Sparrow Clubs USA is a nonprofit organization of school-based clubs that assists children in medical crisis and their families, both financially and emotionally.
Sparrow Clubs’ core values are compassion, conscience, character and community and they believe children will benefit from having meaningful opportunities to engage in giving of themselves to others in need.
“It’s amazing to be involved in it and I’ve been overwhelmed; at two weeks and we already have $7,000. The Rockwell community has really supported it,” said Weinmeister as other fifth-grade teachers Rebecca Breier, Lisa Lewis and Suzanne Newport looked on during a lunchtime interview at the school on Monday.
Weinmeister added that Jacobi’s parents, Jacob and Tierra, enjoyed meeting the Rockwell students, teachers and families and they thank everyone for “making their lives brighter.” Surgeons removed Jacobi’s tumor in August and he is living at Ronald McDonald House in Seattle with his family during his treatment at Children’s Hospital.
Breier singled out one donation that made her day. With hands shaking, one of her students gave her an envelope with $496 inside that he and his third-grade brother were giving to Jacobi.
“That amount for a fifth-grader and a third-grader is just unfathomable to me — and I almost wept, it was just so beautiful,” she said.
Both Lewis and Newport felt that when everyone met Jacobi, it made their sponsorship more real and meaningful in that they were able to put a face to whom they were collecting money for.
“Having his family there was great because we got to meet his older sisters and his mom and dad. I think they were visibly touched by all of the kids being so excited about it and all of us kind of rallying around to help,” Lewis said.
For more information and how to donate, visit http://www.lwsd.org/school/rockwell/ptsa.
Contact Redmond Reporter Editor Andy Nystrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5050.