Wauwatosa Catholic in Wauwatosa uses anonymous donation to give back

The school used a $900 donation to spread kindness throughout the community

Wauwatosa Catholic School students and staff sent this card along with free lunches to staff at Samuel Clemens School in Milwaukee.

Wauwatosa Catholic School students and staff sent this card along with free lunches to staff at Samuel Clemens School in Milwaukee. Photo By Submitted photo

June 10, 2015

About one month ago, an anonymous donor approached Wauwatosa Catholic School with a $900 check in hand.

The donation came with one stipulation — use it to spread kindness.

And that's exactly what the hundreds of students and staff members at the school did, said Principal Heidi Hernandez.

Teachers consulted with their students to brainstorm possible ways to use the money and what resulted was a series of projects that included donating stuffed animals to kids at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, decorating planters for the community and donating food and toys to animals at a humane society, among other projects.

"We were able to pay it forward to that many people, places, organizations, things and that many people, we're praying, will pay it forward," Hernandez said.

Hernandez said the donor was inspired by a story they had seen on CBS Evening News that discussed "the butterfly effect," or the idea that a single butterfly can flap its wings on one side of the world and start a hurricane on the other side of the globe.

With the donation in hand, teachers spoke with their students and some even consulted with parents to determine what sort of projects the children would be interested in using the money for.

In an effort to show appreciation for their hard work, some of the money was used to deliver lunches to teachers at Samuel Clemens School in Milwaukee — the mother of a student at Wauwatosa Catholic School is a teacher there.

But some projects hit closer to home.

"A family that we have lost their little boy this year so we sent them one of those edible fruit arrangements just to brighten their day and let them know that we're still thinking about them even though their little boy isn't at our school right now," Hernandez said.

Some funds were helped support students' parents who are undergoing treatment for cancer.

Erin Hemsworth, a second grader at Wauwatosa Catholic said her class helped clean up litter at Hart Park, located at 7300 W Chestnut Street.

"It helped save the animals so they don't get stuck in the garbage," Hemsworth said.

Hernandez said this is not the first time the school has received donations, but it is the first time a donation has allowed the school to give back to the community in a way that they choose without any agendas — just simply to spread kindness.

The school hopes their small acts of kindness will create a domino effect throughout the community, Hernandez said.

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