GF Intermediate students receive gifts

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Grim Gym was filled to the brim with gifts on Friday, Dec. 16, and Green Forest Intermediate School students got to have Christmas a week early.

Principal Chandra Anderson said the nonprofit Attitudes for a Cause of Washington, Ill., purchased gifts for all 210 students in the school.

"Since our school is in a high poverty area, they wanted to do something for our students," Anderson said. "They had each student write down their favorite color and the top toy they wanted. When they arrived today, they started checking to make sure everyone has something, and they even added sweatshirts with our school logo to the gift bags. It's very cool."

Anderson said fourth-grade teacher Debb Cleghorn, who is from the Chicago area, got the ball rolling for the event. Cleghorn said her friend Kay McKibben in Illinois helped her get in touch with Attitudes for a Cause, which is run by Dawn and Tom Page.

"My best friend, Kay, in Illinois helped me coordinate it," Cleghorn said. "She actually works with one of Dawn's organizations, I think. She found out that Dawn is a big fundraiser and helped set this up. Dawn has been down to see us and knows some of the needs we have in our school. They did a great job with this."

Dawn Page said she and her husband met Cleghorn and decided to help the students out.

"We started out with the idea of getting gifts for one classroom, and they were like 'That really isn't fair.' So we decided we were going to help out the whole school," she said. "All of the people back home were big helpers with this event. They all did it. It took a lot of money, but we did it."

Page said this is the first large-scale project that Attitudes for a Cause has done. She said Attitudes for a Cause and the Sabrina K. Page Foundation, named for her husband's deceased wife who died of a brain tumor, focus on serving individual needs.

"That's what our foundation is all about. We donate to individual families that are truly in need and help them," Page said. "Back home, there's a woman with cancer, and we are doing what we can to support that family."

She continued, "This was our first time doing a large-scale project, and yesterday [Dec. 15] was Sabrina's birthday. So this is a very good day for us."

As Green Forest fourth- and fifth-graders waited eagerly in the stands of the Grim Gym, one class would be called at a time, and teachers would bring the students' gifts to them. The children could not have been more excited as they tore into the presents.

"It was really nice of them to do this," said Mattie Davis, "because most people wouldn't do anything like this. It was very generous."

"It was really cool to get to open presents today," said Levi Tipton.

Anderson said it was unbelievable to have Attitudes for a Cause bring gifts for all of the students.

"There are really no words," she said. "It's such a unique experience for us, and we're very excited."

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