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Harrison Students Create Ripples of Hope Through Donations


All actions are like pebbles tossed into a pond. They are the ripples that spread and affect those around them.

Can you think of a time someone did something kind for you? Maybe someone gave you a word of encouragement; maybe they made you laugh when you needed it most; maybe they gave you some great advice that ended up being the drop of hope you needed.

That’s what being a Ripple of Hope is all about. When you do something kind for someone, you create a ripple effect in their lives. Just drop can create a chain reaction of ripples of hope which will spread beyond just one person.

Students at Harrison Intermediate were tasked with creating Ripples of Hope.

“Students sent in proposals of what they would do with $100 to create a ‘ripple of hope,’” sixth-grade counselor Ashley Rinn said. 

Groups of students, referred to as “ships,” then voted on the project they wanted to complete with money given to them.

“The goal was for all students on each ship to be a part of the project, so they can all witness firsthand how simple acts can create a ripple of hope,” Rinn said. 

Freedom ship member Olivia Van Keer voted to help serve Hope’s Door, a transitional living space for women and children, because of her own encounter when a boy was rude to her.

“I like to stick up for people,” Van Keer said.

Students hold up their ships' banners.

Students in the ships Freedom, The Pride, and Victory Helm had a combined $300 to spend. They found Hope Door’s Amazon Wish List of their urgent needs online.

“We spent our money on items on that list,” Van Keer said. “I hope it all goes to good use.”

“Families from all three ships have also been sending in item donations for the last two weeks,” Rinn said.

Students met up with their teachers after school to shop for items to donate.

Members of all three ships got to see their Ripple of Hope begin its journey. They gathered in the gym to present their donations to Hope’s Door.

Students pose with donations made to Hope's Door.

Beth Ellermeier, volunteer program manager at Hope’s Door, received the items on behalf of the shelter that helps survivors of domestic abuse. She told members of all three ships about her organization and how they serve families who may be in harm’s way and need a safe place to stay.

“This is a huge help to the people we serve,” Ellermeier said.

Students pose with donations made to animal shelter.

The City of Wylie Animal Shelter was another recipient of donations through this Ripple of Hope project. Dragons of Atlantis, Golden Bucs, Rising Sun, and El Conquistador collected donations for the shelter and presented them to animal services officers Walker Phillips and Jerred Ellenburg.

“We’ve got large dogs who go through a lot of food,” Phillips said. “We will go through one of these large bags of dog food in just a few days. Your donation will really help us out.”

Animal services officers pose with donations.

Other Ripples of Hope projects at Harrison:

Avengers created baskets filled with favorite things for custodians, while Skullz of Knowledge created gift bags for crossing guards.

Students pose with crossguards.

Valor collected supplies and created cards for kids at Jonathan’s Place, a temporary foster placement in Garland. The group went to Jonathan’s Place to deliver the items and toured the facility. 

Black Pearl made blankets for Plano Children’s Hospital.

Students show the blankets they made.

Kraken purchased art supplies and made cards for children at Pleasant Hills Children’s Home. 

“When the director from the home was asked if they could use art supplies, she immediately started to cry,” Rinn said. “She said, ‘The students are always asking for markers and colors, and there isn’t always money in the budget for art supplies.’”

Students stand with donated supplies.