, Muskogee, OK


December 27, 2012

Pennies show compassion

— One area teacher hopes her students can make a difference in the lives of those affected by the Newtown, Conn., shootings one penny at a time.

Sharon Rash, a teacher for Porter Consolidated Schools, has asked each of her students to donate 28 pennies to Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“It’s one penny for each of the victims,” said Rash, a FCCLA (Family, Careers and Community Leaders of America) adviser. “And one penny for the community.”

Twenty elementary school children, six faculty members, and the mother of the shooter died before Adam Lanza killed himself.

“As a mother and as a school teacher, you just feel called to do something, anything, to help,” Rash said. “When this happened, it was just horrible, but we felt like it was in our hearts to help. I believe in Oklahoma, and I think the hearts here will get behind this.”

Rash’s idea is profound in its empathy and simplicity.

Children can learn empathy and compassion for others by offering spare change.

That spare change, if multiplied by other schools in Oklahoma, could turn into a major outpouring of aid for Newtown.

Money won’t begin to fill the hole in the hearts of the victims’ family and friends.

But, it will show them that someone cares.

You can help

Anyone interested in contributing to a “28 Pennies to Remember” fundraiser for the Newtown, Conn., community can contact the Porter Consolidated Schools FCCLA chapter.

Sharon Rash, FCCLA adviser, can be reached at (918) 483-7011 after classes resume Wednesday. In the meantime, interested parties can reach Rash at



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