HOPE — In a holiday activity focused on giving back to the broader community this year, Hope Elementary School raised $762 to purchase toys to be distributed to children through the Toys for Tots program. The initiative was spearheaded by the eighth-grade class, with leadership, drive and enthusiasm provided by Caellen Roberts, Ella Pierce, Emma Mitchell, Josh Pearse, Billy Murietta and Evie Bracher.
To raise the funds, students conducted a coin drive in the school. The third-grade class donated the most, bringing in more than $200 in quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. On Dec. 18, the eighth-grade students exchanged the coins for cash at Bangor Savings Bank, and went on a shopping trip. The students purchased gifts, including bicycles, Lego sets, basketballs, dolls, board games and toy cars, and then donated the unwrapped items to Toys for Tots.
Roberts, who was the point person for the project, said in a news release, "I really enjoy giving presents at Christmas. We thought it would be fun to give to kids who didn't have as much and imagine how excited they would be."