It is truly amazing to see something positive emerge out of a tragedy. In this case, a woman’s untimely death led to the creation of a remarkable charitable initiative.
Katrina Kloess is a teacher at the Trinity Lutheran School in Tinley Park, Chicago. For the past two years, Katrina has chosen three of her students each year to take part in a special charitable initiative.
“I had done a project with my students the last two years where I’d given them a dollar and then I challenged them to make a difference with the one dollar,” she stated.
This year, however, the project took on a unique role. It was in response to the tragic and untimely death of Katrina’s sister, Katie. Katie, 29, was also a teacher, but died in a car accident just before Christmas last year.
Kloess’ picks for this year were fifth-graders: Shannon, Bailey, and Delaney. The three girls planned to do something special this year.
“We made a YouTube video and put it on Facebook and on YouTube,” Delaney said.
In this video, the group requested one-dollar donations aimed at raising money for supplies and toys for the underprivileged children in the community.
This was all in Katie Kloess’ name.
Shannon describes the inspiration behind this idea, “We were thinking, do we want to help one or two people or as many people as we can? And we all agreed we wanted to help as many people as we could.”
In a short amount of time, the charity collected over $418. The girls used the money, gathered in Katie’s name, to buy gifts which they then donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Oak Lawn.
“It makes us proud of these kids. I know Katie would be touched. She would be so amazed by them and proud of them too for what they’re doing,” Kloess recalled tearfully.
The project will now become an annual custom aimed at helping the needy in Katie’s name.
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