Clairbourn School’s Annual Door of Hope Pocket Change Drive Fostering Hope

It is so tempting when holding a fundraiser to talk primarily about the total dollars raised by a campaign. But at Clairbourn School, people are buzzing about the rise of contagious caring and the mutually inspired acts of generosity arising out of the Annual Door of Hope Pocket Change Drive. This fundraiser involves second-grade students who come to school early for a week to greet arriving families and invite them to donate their pocket change to help homeless families. They then sort, count, weigh, and track the funds collected.

Even though the monies raised this year were record-breaking, the real story is the students’ growing commitment to the cause, their maintained commitment—even after they have left second-grade—and the parental commitment to support student enthusiasm. Not only have the parents of these students donated, but a growing group of them set up matching gift challenges this year that spurred donations on to new heights. The students raised $2,500 which was matched to bring the total to $12,500. A check was presented to Mr. Tim Peters, the director of the Door of Hope at Clairbourn’s morning Chapel, and the following thank you letter, written by second grade teacher Mrs. Denise Wreede, was read to the audience:

This past week was full of powerful and heartwarming actions:

I saw a brother and sister bring in a large jar of pocket change they had been collecting for a whole year specifically to give to the Door of Hope.

I saw parents, administrators, teachers, and maintenance staff open their wallets and purses and dig into their pockets to help fill the colorful pocket change bags for the Door of Hope.

I saw countless students, from the preschool up to the middle school, bring plastic baggies filled with coins as well as containers of all sizes, including red envelopes containing bills and pocket change.

As I was working at my desk, the door slowly opened, and a very little first-grader confidently made her way over to me holding out a dollar bill, a nickel, and a penny, announcing that she was giving her money to the Door of Hope.

As I was standing on the Randall Hall playground during recess, another first-grader let me know that her friend “over there” wanted to give me some money. I went over to her, and clutched in her hand, wrapped in a paper towel, was a stack of quarters. It was still warm when she handed it to me.

Piles of change, bills of all denominations, as well as checks, were left on my desk or slipped into my hands by children and adults alike.

I heard numerous kind comments on how polite the second-graders were when they said, “Thank you for your donation.” I saw and heard in Chapel second grade students sharing the purpose and goals of the Door of Hope.

On each of those five days of the Door of Hope Pocket Change Drive, I saw second-graders enthusiastically sort, count, and add up on their calculators over 47 pounds of coins.

Right now, I am a witness to something very important…I see you are caring giving people. Each one of you, through the process and power of giving, makes a big impact on our surrounding community.

Right now, I am a witness to something uniquely special! There are caring and generous members of the Clairbourn Community who have seen what you have done…and they would like you to understand just how importantand just how powerful your acts of giving are.

Therefore, because your generous actions do make an impact, because your spirit of giving is so valued… four parents contributed a matching amount of cash and checks to take your outstanding collection total of $2500 to an amazing $12,500. That is their way of supporting your efforts! It is their way of saying, “Well done, Clairbourn Community!”

This fundraising project is part of the Service Learning Program at Clairbourn School, which provides learning experiences for students beyond the classroom designed to meet real community needs, create thoughtful and engaged citizens, inspire thought, invoke compassion, and instill responsibility. Clairbourn School provides private school education for preschool, Kindergarten, elementary and middle school grades, and serves families in the Pasadena area and surrounding cities.

Clairbourn School, 8400 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel, (626) 286-3108 or visit


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