Garfield Elementary First-Grader Starts Fundraiser to Help Ailing Classmate
Henry Schenk VI began the "Jellybeans for Jacob" fundraiser in order to help a classmate who has been to school only a handful of times this year
Henry Schenk VI admitted to "sweating through my hair" as he recently convinced his principal to approve a school raffle.
However, given the condition of a fellow first-grader at Garfield Elementary School, a little perspiration seems minor.
Henry and his family are leading the charge behind "Jellybeans for Jacob," a fundraiser that Henry developed to help a friend who he says has not been at school for more than four full days in the 2012-2013 school year. Mentor Schools spokeswoman Kristen Kirby said Jacob's family opted to have only his first name published and, for privacy reasons, described his situation as a "serious medical condition."
"I just wanted to help him," Henry said of Jacob, who he first met in kindergarten.
He and others in the community will do just that on March 23 at a raffle preceeding Garfield's talent show, which will be hosted at 7 p.m. at Memorial Middle School. By then, Henry and his friends will have given up a recess period to help stuff Easter eggs with jellybeans and raffle tickets that parents can purchase to win several prizes donated by area businesses that Henry recruited.
"I just tell them I have a sick friend in my grade and we are trying to help him by doing a fundraiser," Henry explained.
Rebecca Schenk, Henry's mother, said she was particularly impressed with teens who work at Malley's Chocolates. At first she thought they were asking managers or making a call to the corporate office for approval, but they returned with a few dollars from their own pockets to help the seven-year-old buy eggs and candy for the raffle.
"No one has said 'no,'" Rebecca said. "The people we talked to are all willing to help. It's just amazing."
The mother said her family talks about giving back to others, but she gives the majority of credit to Henry's big heart.
"We talk about being good people, but he's just a generous little boy," Rebecca said. "He's caring and he's sensitive.
"I think it's a more powerful lesson as a parent than I could have ever imagined."