NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Shortly after the Sandy Hook tragedy efforts began in the Nacogdoches Independent School district to raise money for a Sandy Hook book drive.
Organizers didn't realize it initially, but a penny drive evolved into plans for many more good deeds. The effort is making a quite an impression on Nacogdoches ISD's elementary children.
A penny drop fundraiser is bringing smiles to Nacogdoches school children's faces. Hopefully, the books and memory nameplates bought with the money will do the same for children in Sandy Hook.
Jasmine Rohrman, a 5th grader at Nettie Marshall Elementary, wants to make sure no one forgets the senseless tragedy.
"No. No one should forget about it," Jasmine said. "That's why we're raising the money to get the books."
What Jasmine may not realize is that their penny drive launched a new civic program. It's called Together Assisting School and Community.
"We left it that way so that we can continue from year to year using this and raising funds for other projects," said Debra Brewer, a member of TASC.
The bonus is businesses take part from donating water jugs to eateries donating a percentage of their proceeds from a designated night. On Friday, the Nacogdoches Fire Department will collect the pennies and take them to participating banks that will count the money. Everyone's role teaches kids a valuable lesson.
"Sharing in the community and watching out for each other and giving a helping hand for no reward other than that's the right thing to do," Brewer said.
It's the kind of lesson Chole Coleman, a 4th grader at Nettie Marshall Elementary, learned from her late grandfather.
"We'd drop money into a little bucket and then we would donate it to the public library, so they can buy more books for other children to read, Chloe said.
A similar gift will soon arrive at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Friday is the last day of the Project Sandy Hook Fundraiser. You'll find penny jugs at schools and Nacogdoches banks. This summer the TASC Force will review other projects worth supporting.