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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Central holds $1-per-pupil challenge to assist A-Way Home shelter

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Central Elementary School Student Council members present a $450 check to A-Way Shelter Executive Director and Board President Debbie Zigler (right). Student Council members (front, from left) Garrett Heavin, Masey Chambers and Alex Fanning join (back, from left) sixth-grade teacher Amy Cassida and students Rachel Jones and Noah Emmerich in making the presentation.
With the A-Way Home shelter in Greencastle fighting a closing deadline of Sept. 10, students at Central Elementary have issued a challenge to the other Putnam County schools.

The challenge is simple: Raise $1 for every pupil in your school and donate the funds to the homeless shelter.

The Central Elementary staff and Student Council threw that challenge at the school's student body this week, and got back $450 in response. They presented that amount in check form Friday to A-Way Home Shelter Executive Director Debbie Zigler

Not a bad return considering Central Elementary has fewer than 300 students.

After reading a recent Banner Graphic article detailing the shelter's financial plight, sixth-grade teacher Amy Cassida, one of Central's Student Council sponsors, felt the school could and should do something to help.

The Student Council challenged all students to bring in $1 as suggested in the article. The students then took that message to heart.

"We felt we did pretty well," Central Elementary spokesman Rebecca Phillips understated. "We have less that 300 students and raised more than $450.

"If only every school and workplace in the county would do the same, perhaps enough money could be raised to save the A-Way Home Shelter," she added.

Of immediate need for the shelter is $30,000 to retire a loan from the Housing Authority. The shelter runs on an annual budget of $120,000.

"We realize that our small donation will not save the shelter by itself," Phillips said. "If we all work together, perhaps we can make a difference.

After 15 years of providing shelter to the homeless and others in need in Putnam County, the A-Way Home shelter at 309 E. Franklin St., Greencastle, finds itself in a dire financial predicament.

If a new funding stream does not materialize or a major benefactor does not step forward literally in the next few days, the shelter is prepared to close Sept. 10 and not reopen for at least the remainder of 2011.

"We have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best," Zigler told the Banner Graphic earlier. "If we somehow get money on Sept. 9, we will still be open Sept. 11."

Baring any last-minute major donors, the shelter will close next Saturday, and remain that way for the last quarter of 2011. In the interim, the focus would turn to regrouping and reorganizing, along with securing expanded funding sources. The plan would then be to reopen in 2012.

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Way to go Central Elementary!!I am so proud of each and every one of you. I would like to see other schools and businesses in Putnam County follow suite.This is a wonderful thing you have done for the A Way Home Shelter.

-- Posted by churchmouse on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 12:11 AM

If you want to make a donation to a specific charity, that is great. Commendations for your generosity and social conscience.

However, Central positioned this as a rewards engine for the children, encouraging them to donate money to the shelter in return for an extra Friday-afternoon recess. No donation, no recess for you! This is nothing less than coercion on the part of adults with a specific pet charity.

If you want to make students aware of a charity in need and ask for donations, I can live with that. But keep your agendas out of our schools and leave the bribes to politicians.

-- Posted by Balding Eagle on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 7:21 AM

Is there anyway of making sure that the people we take in are Putnam County residents. And not so much of people brought here from other communities not willing to help their own? I'm sure that puts a big dent in the away homes budget. I know you don't want to turn anybody away but now you can't help anybody..

-- Posted by greatful mom on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 10:21 AM

I think what the students of Central Elementary did was great. Wonderful job young people. And I love how there always has to be someone to bring up an "agenda".

-- Posted by TheColonel on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 4:01 PM


-- Posted by Michele1953 on Sat, Sep 3, 2011, at 4:05 PM

So what if they worked toward a recess or risked loosing one. Obviously the felt the ends justified the means and perhaps learned something about privilege.

I think a dollar match from every able citizen of Greencastle is a worthy idea. Better yet , give up the cost of a coffee , a beer, a pack of cigarettes , and our annual fireworks. Are those in need less deserving than what we can all live without?

-- Posted by Seagullslim on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 11:55 AM

great job to the kids! but the shelter needs to go. Live down the street and and a lot of out of town no gooders hang and stay there!

-- Posted by hardtobelieve on Sun, Sep 4, 2011, at 6:41 PM

What happened to the good old days when you could just run "undesirables" out of town?

-- Posted by localman on Mon, Sep 5, 2011, at 2:59 PM

No, the shelter is wonderful to have. Very impressed that Central Elementary is teaching their kids to help out charities.... even if they risk losing something of their own. Teach them early before they become adults only looking out for themselves.

-- Posted by bannerstuff on Tue, Sep 6, 2011, at 9:45 AM

Please give them that money back when no one else raises any money to keep the shelter open.

-- Posted by BlackBarbie22 on Wed, Sep 7, 2011, at 1:31 PM

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