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Byram Hills The Pinwheel Project Aid Hospitalized Kids

Wampus third-grader Eliza Goldman presents donations to Sandee Martensen of The Pinwheel Project.
Wampus third-grader Eliza Goldman presents donations to Sandee Martensen of The Pinwheel Project. Photo Credit: Byram Hills School District
Emmett Wolland and Gabe Goldman, both kindergarteners at Coman Hill Elementary School, help pack gifts for hospitalized children.
Emmett Wolland and Gabe Goldman, both kindergarteners at Coman Hill Elementary School, help pack gifts for hospitalized children. Photo Credit: Byram Hills School District

ARMONK, N.Y. – Sometimes, the motivation behind a great cause is pure and simple. Such was the case for 8-year-old Wampus Elementary School student Eliza Goldman, who recently helped out children in the hospital.

“If I was in the hospital, I would feel sad,” said Goldman, a third-grader. “I think that if you get a present, it would probably make you smile. And once you start to smile, I think you start to feel better.”

Wampus and Coman Hill elementary students recently brought containers of Play-Doh and character Band-Aids that will be given to hospitalized children as part of The Pinwheel Project.

Project founder and Armonk resident Sandee Martensen collected all of the donations last week.

“I love the idea of children helping children,” Martensen said. “It’s good for kids to know from day one that it’s their job – and all of our jobs – to help children who are hospitalized.”

Along with providing small gifts to children at 15 area hospitals, the nonprofit project offers a variety of support to families of sick children.

Wampus Principal Debra Cagliostro said she and the faculty always welcome initiatives, such as The Pinwheel Project.

“In teaching our students about service and developing empathy, any project that connects directly to children has a deeper impact,” Cagliostro said. “The students can relate to other children. They think more about it and the results are truly heartening."

Coman Hill Principal Peggy McInerney said the project dovetails with a school theme that encourages “filling buckets,” a term drawn from the best-selling picture book “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”

By doing kind deeds, the children learn they are filling others’ buckets, along with their own.

“The Pinwheel Project is all about filling other people’s buckets,” said McInerney, adding that the collection drives were organized by the schools’ community service committees, and coordinated by parents Deborah Goldman and Ally Wolland.

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