Two George J. Mitchell School, Waterville Students Celebrating Their Birthday in a Special Way
Gabbie and Alice are both second graders at the George J. Mitchell School in Waterville, and they wanted to do something special for their 8th birthday.
Their school, demographically, based on the number of students receiving free or reduced lunch, is one of the poorest in the state. In an effort to prevent evening/weekend/vacation hunger among its students and their families, the school opened a no questions asked food pantry in the school in 2013. Best friends Gabbie and Alice, knowing the school's dire situation, decided to hold a joint 8th birthday party, in which they asked for donations to the food pantry, in lieu of gifts.
Their teacher, Mrs. Saulter, was so touched by their plans, that she secretly asked the PTO what they could do to make a big deal of these generous, selfless young ladies. PTO President Jennifer Johnson thought what better way to celebrate them than to make their wish come true on the largest possible scale?
The food pantry has operating costs of $5,000/year. Raising $5k would mean Gabbie and Alice made sure families in need were fed for an entire year. Raising $50k would feed this town in need for TEN years. And for $100k, Gabbie and Alice would feed needy kids in the school for TWENTY YEARS!
With the food pantry funded for twenty years, the school would be able to afford to expand to include fourth and fifth graders. Lofty goals, but why not.