O’Neill raises money by paying it forward

Congratulations to O’Neill Middle School! O’Neill students participated in Raise Craze, a unique fundraiser during which students ask friends and family for donations. In exchange, the students pay it forward by completing acts of kindness for others.

During Raise Craze, O’Neill students exceeded their goals and raised $16,518 and completed 826 acts of kindness! 93 percent of the proceeds will go to directly support O’Neill Middle School. As a reward for their achievement, students enjoyed an opportunity to duct tape their Principal Matt Durbala and Assistant Principal Haley Underwood to the wall. (Thanks for being team sports, Mr. Durbala and Ms. Underwood!)

Here are a few examples of the wonderful acts of kindness our students performed:

  • Shoveled snow from sidewalks and driveways for our families and neighbors
  • Helped our families organize and clean out our closets then donated those items to Goodwill, Am Vets, and PADS
  • Donated food, toys, and money to West Suburban Humane Society
  • Used online resources to donate rice to the World Food Programme and send Valentine’s to children at St. Jude
  • Volunteered at Feed My Starving Children
  • Shared our talents with the community by playing cello at church or dancing at a nursing home
  • Donated almost 7 full boxes of books to the DG Area Branch of AAUW’s book sale
  • Helped our younger siblings with everything from homework to getting dressed for school
  • Made bird feeders
  • Made blankets for Sharing Connections
  • Donated one weekend of food to Blessings in a Backpack to help kids at our elementary schools
  • Wrote thank you notes to teachers and staff at O’Neill Middle School and notes of kindness to our classmates
  • Took out our neighbor’s garbage cans/recycling bins on trash day

And so much more!

The O’Neill students, both individually and in groups, reached out to many local organizations with donations, letters of thanks and even volunteer hours.  Those organizations included:

  • DuPage PADS
  • West Suburban Humane Society
  • Indian Boundary YMCA
  • DG Area Branch of AAUW
  • Sharing Connections
  • Blessings in a Backpack
  • Girls Who Code at the Downers Grove Public Library
  • Downers Grove Fire Department
  • Downers Grove Police Department
  • Local therapy dog training
  • Local churches
  • Local nursing homes and care centers
  • Training younger and special needs students through hockey, softball, and gymnastics clubs
  • Retired Veterans

Many of the Acts of Kindness are ongoing or long term efforts of O’Neill students. The O’Neill Acts of Kindness even reached national and international groups such as:

  • Goodwill
  • AmVets
  • World Food Programme
  • St. Jude
  • Feed My Starving Children
  • Paws with a Purpose
  • Ronald McDonald House

Great work, O’Neill!