It might not seem like much money – $100 – but it’s a lot if you’re the manager of a soup kitchen, or an 8- or 10-year-old.
Five friends – Delaney Swanson, Maggie and Raven Streed, and Shay and Jenna Bosnick – were bored with the usual games in their Tacoma neighborhood at North 24th Street and North Mason Avenue last month.
So they decided to raise money for a local food bank.
On Monday, the girls brought the $100 to the St. Leo Food Connection, which helps feed Tacoma-area residents in need.
That’s significant financially for the food bank, which has a “shoe-string budget,” said Rick Samyn with St. Leo.
The gang of mostly fifth-graders took time off from playing “Survivor” and “The Hunger Games,” and put themselves to work.
They raked leaves, picked up trash, pulled weeds, dead-headed flowers, planted bulbs.
Their earnings averaged $10 to $20 per job, though they asked for a minimum of 25 cents.
“If we did really good, we got a lot of money,” said Shay Bosnick, 10. “If we did OK, we got less.”
The girls weren’t sure at first how successful they’d be, but were encouraged by raising more than $30 their first day. They worked most weekends, and said neighbors seemed willing to farm out the chores.
“How can you say no?” said Harold Isbell, who commissioned the gang to help in his yard. “Take a look at these girls. They’ve just got beautiful attitudes.”
Parents helped foot the last $25 of the group’s $100 goal, and asked that the girls pick up trash around the neighborhood in exchange.
“It just makes our neighborhood cluttered,” said Jenna Bosnick, 10. “You’ll be outside and there will be cigarette butts everywhere. It’s gross. There are trash cans all over Tacoma.”
The girls plan to continue volunteering this winter by shoveling snow, and the Bosnicks are considering expanding the operation to their father’s house in Gig Harbor.
Some of the girls attend Washington-Hoyt Elementary School in Heidi Barabe’s fifth-grade class, which has been studying random acts of kindness.
They recently wrote an essay about an everyday hero of their choice.
“That’s kind of how it came up,” Jenna Bosnick said, explaining the start of the group’s fundraising.
Barabe said that’s the idea of the unit: “To encourage kids to be involved in the community and to see what their role is as a member of society, and how they can influence those around them. There are everyday heroes out there, and students can be those heroes.”Alexis Krell: alexis.krell@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/crime