Clinical Center News
Fall 2018

Elementary school students raise $8,000 for CC patients, their families

Four students and a teacher hold an oversized check to benefits patients at the NIH Clinical Center
In one week, students at Carderock Springs Elementary School collected $5,830.77 solely in loose change donations through their 2018 Penny Wars initiative. From left to right, students Gabriel Lee, Caroline Easley and Emma Graf display the check to the NIH Patient Emergency Fund with fifth grade teacher Matthew Ghaman. After this photo was taken, additional efforts, including super-soaker car washes and fundraising pizza nights brought the 2018 total donation to more than $8,400. The additional funds were delivered by normal size check!

This summer, the students of Carderock Springs Elementary school in Bethesda, M.D. presented a check for more than $8,400 to benefit patients and families participating in a clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center.

"The generous donation will directly benefit the pediatric inpatients of the NIH Clinical Center and their families," said Kathy Baxley, chief of the Social Work Department at the NIH Clinical Center. "This donation supports the Patient Emergency Fund for the Clinical Center, which helps provide for the morale, comfort and well-being of inpatients and their families."

The Patient Emergency Fund provides short-term emergency funds during times of crisis or financial stress and may include money for emergency food, clothing and shelter.

The school's philanthropic initiative – driven by a competitive "Penny Wars" – began in 2012 under the guidance of Matthew Ghaman, a fifth grade teacher and Student Government Association officer.

"I am so proud of our kids and the life lesson they learn during this short week each year. The NIH is a tremendously special place and the Carderock community is beyond thrilled to be a piece of the work you do to advance medicine and save lives every day," said Ghaman.

The primary fundraising mechanism was a one week Penny Wars coin drive competition. Every morning as students entered the school they deposited pennies for points in their homeroom piggy banks, while depositing nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars as "zaps" in the piggy banks of the other within grade classrooms. Additional pep rallies, daily updates on point totals, and special challenges including a surprise "double zap" day was held.

In previous years, the students have also donated handmade cards and puzzles to their peers in the pediatric unit.

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