Students raise funds after fire

By Beanie Taylor -

After a Wilkes County family lost its home in a devastating fire, children from East Wilkes Middle School decided to actively express their concern for fellow students.

A carnival and bake sale will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pleasant Hill Fire Department located at 1069 Austin Traphill Road in Elkin to benefit the Marion family, who experienced a house fire caused by an electric heater on Feb. 11.

Three of the Marion children, two eighth-graders and one sixth-grader, attended the middle school.

“The kids approached me the next day and said, ‘Ms. Hall, can we do something to help them?’” said East Wilkes Middle teacher Andrea Hall. “They immediately started brainstorming what they wanted to do.”

The students came up with a variety of possibilities eventually settling on a plan where everyone could help.

“They decided on the idea of a carnival/bake sale because that way the vast number of students that wanted to help could participate in some way. If they can’t be there the date of, then they can still bake and help build the games. Others can also bring in candy and stuffed animals to use as prizes.”

The students have completely organized the fundraiser, from initiating the idea to carrying out the plan.

“This was 100 percent the kids’ idea,” said Hall. “They came up with carnival game ideas and started making phone calls. They set a date and got a venue. The adults are just here to help advertise.”

As important as it is for the Marion family to have help, it is the involvement of the youth that turns tragedy into triumph.

“Seeing the kids get excited about helping others is the best part,” said Hall. “People should come out not only to support a great cause, but to show these students that they can be leaders in their community and doing good does pay off.”

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Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at

By Beanie Taylor