Making a Difference: Clairbourn Second-Graders Support the Door of Hope

The Pocket Change Drive at Clairbourn is an annual community service-learning event conducted by second-graders to support the Door of Hope, a Pasadena-based transitional housing and life-skills facility especially designed for homeless families with children. The Door of Hope is special because it keeps parents and their children together and helps them transition into permanent housing with a 95% success rate of stabilizing the families’ long-term living situation.

This past week, Clairbourn School was full of examples of powerful and generous giving from the community. Each donation made was inspired by the enthusiasm of 29 second-graders. For a whole week, these students showed up early to school to solicit donations of loose change from those arriving on campus. They had memorized a brief summary of the Door of Hope’s purpose and goals, which they shared with people when needed, and always worked to be polite and respectful, thanking each and every person for his or her donation.

Many students from the preschool to middle school brought in jars and baggies of coins they had been saving up. One second-grader and her mother brought in a large plastic tub full of pocket change that their family had been collecting for a whole year specifically to give to the Door of Hope. Piles of change, bills of all denominations, as well as checks were also anonymously left on the desks of second grade teachers, Jorie Pletcher and Denise Wreede, by those who wanted to participate.

After making the rounds each day, the students consolidated the collection into a basket, and then slowly began the task of sorting and counting. Each specific type of currency was delivered to a counting station where the bills, pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and oddments, were stacked in arrays. Over the course of the week, they handled over 80lbs of change, checks, and bills that added up to a total of $2,700.

Additionally, two second grade parents, a sixth grade parent, and a former Clairbourn family, pledged to match the total amount raised by the students. That brought the grand total of funds raised for the Door of Hope up to $13,500. A check was presented to Executive Director of the Door of Hope, Mr. Tim Peters, at a Chapel assembly in early February.

Mr. Peters was thrilled and moved by the outpouring of support, and shared how the money raised from last year’s fundraiser helped many, many families with small children transition into permanent housing and a happier living situation. Afterwards, the students took a field trip to the Door of Hope to see first-hand where the money would be applied.

To see a full slide show of Door of Hope Pocket Change Drive click here.

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



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