When 8-year-old Morgan Allen won a prize at school, she shared it with a child who had not won. “She makes presents for everyone to make them feel special, even if she hasn’t known them long,” says her mother, Bhavana Patel.
Morgan’s kindness came back to her tenfold this year when her classmates at MacFarlane Park Elementary rallied to support her after she was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer. From issuing a city-wide lemon challenge to selling slime and pillowcases to raise money to help cover Morgan’s medical expenses, Ms. D’Aloia’s 2nd grade class stepped up to the challenge of helping a friend in need and learned some valuable life lessons along the way.
“They have been so amazing. I’ve never had to ask the kids to support her; they always wanted to.” — Lauren D’Aloia
“The kids have been amazing,” says teacher Lauren D’Aloia. “They organized a lot of fundraisers this year, planning many of them during recess.” While the students held the traditional bake and lemonade sales, they also got the chance to design a pillowcase to be sold on MermaidPillowCo.com to benefit Morgan’s medical care. “We were able to have a Skype conference with the owner and the class, so they could learn about entrepreneurship and how to create the pillowcase,” D’Aloia says. “They created different designs, voted on the one they liked best and wrote a description for the website.”
More than anything, Ms. D’Aloia says the kids have learned how to be good friends this year. “They have been so amazing,” she says. “They don’t ever show Morgan that they think she is different from them. They are excited to see her when she’s able to come to class and made a sign-up sheet for who would be her helper during the day. I’ve never had to ask the kids to support her; they always wanted to.”