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Hunt’s ‘Red Solo Cup’ drive yields thousands for hurricane relief

MADISON – Pocket change. Loose coins. 50 cents. Most people nonchalantly forget about pocket change, but fourth-grader Chris Hunt realized a way to help others.

At Madison Elementary School, “Chris came up with a great idea for our school to contribute to recent hurricane victims,” his teacher Joy Wilson said. On Oct. 2, Chris and the other student ambassadors distributed red Solo cups to every student at Madison elementary.

“The challenge was to fill up the cup with change they collected throughout the week. Oct. 6 was the last day for everyone to turn in their collections. It was then counted for the donation,” Wilson said.

“As a school, we donated $2,925 to American Red Cross for hurricane relief,” Principal Melissa Mims said. Chris and Madison elementary’s ambassadors presented the money to Rachel, American Red Cross representative, on Oct. 27. Rachel presented Chris and the ambassadors with an American Red Cross bag containing a watch and other Red Cross memorabilia.

“I just wanted to help the people who had been hurt by the hurricanes,” Chris said.

Chris’ motivation came from a story, “Dollars and $ense,” that his class read. “The persuasive article showed that how behind the success of some of big businesses, like Tom’s Shoes and Hard Rock Cafe, is a desire to help others through giving back with the profits they make,” Wilson said.

“They were persuading you to believe that helping others is good business. That was the driving force behind Chris’ great idea,” Wilson said.

Chris chose to use red Solo cups, today synonymous with a party, because he “thought it would be easy to take home and an easy thing to carry around to collect or put the coins in.”

“Chris is a very empathetic child, so you can see how he would come up with such a great idea like this coin collection,” Wilson said. At first, Chris discussed his idea with school counselor Stefanie Cook to gauge her thoughts. Cook scheduled a meeting about the details with Mims.

“You could see how excited Chris was about our school trying to do something great for something that had been so terrible to so many. It has been a good life lesson for him because he sees how much one person can make a difference for so many others, even if it is just collecting coins,” Wilson said.

Chris’ parents are John and Michelle Hunt.

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