Lincoln shows Christmas spirit: Kids raise funds for two families
Around 225 students of Lincoln Elementary School were given a lesson on giving and how it is its own reward.
The students gathered in the gymnasium Thursday for an assembly holiday sing-along to help get the school into the Christmas spirit. But before the first notes were sang the kids wanted to make sure that two families of their classmates had a very special Christmas.
All together the students raised $2,660 from direct donations and school sucker sales, said Sherry Schmidt, principal of Lincoln Elementary. Dressed as Santa, Schmidt presented the Joshua Walker family and the Kathleen Sandstrom-McGillivray family each with $1,330.
It is better to give and feel what that is “right here,” she said, placing her hand on her heart.
“This is what this season is all about,” Schmidt said. “We have families right now who need something special and we just made Christmas special, and that is the best gift we can ever give.”
Schmidt applauded her students for caring about others and taking care of the Lincoln family.
“That is what we do best,” Schmidt said.
Joshua and Jeannie Walker family have two children attending Lincoln Elementary School.
Joshua Walker was diagnosed in October with glioblastoma, a type of brain tumor with symptoms including headache, nausea, blurred vision and seizures. It requires ongoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Walker has not been able to work with treatment, and the medical bills and travel costs are growing while there is no primary income source for the family. After receiving the gift from the school children, Jeannie Walker said it was a very humbling moment for her family.
“I just think this is an astounding sense of community,” she said. “These children did so well to do this and they were happy to do it.”
A taco feed benefit for the Walkers will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Jamestown. There is also a benefit account in his name at U.S. Bank.
The second gift was for the family of Isabella Sandstrom, an 11-year-old student at Lincoln Elementary School who was struck by a truck and seriously injured while crossing a street about one block from school on Nov. 9. She was hospitalized for two weeks with a skull fracture, broken arm and leg, and numerous internal injuries, according to her mother, Kathleen Sandstrom-McGillivray.
Sandstrom-McGillivray said she was grateful to Isabella’s classmates for the gift. She said Isabella should be expected to complete physical therapy in four to six months.
“She’s been back to school for a couple of weeks now,” Sandstrom-McGillivray said. “She is starting slow attending for about an hour and a half each day.”
Isabella said she wished everyone a Merry Christmas and especially to Todd and his family.
As of Sunday, a GoFundMe page started for Isabelle by her aunt has raised $6,085 toward a $100,000 goal. There is also a fund set up for her at First Community Credit Union.