You probably don’t think of old shirts as your most valuable financial asset. The second-grade class at Lincoln Elementary School, though, has managed to turn used T-shirts into more than $1,000.


You probably don’t think of old shirts as your most valuable financial asset. The second-grade class at Lincoln Elementary School, though, has managed to turn used T-shirts into more than $1,000.
For two weeks, the second-graders have sold “heart strings” — bracelets and necklaces made from the donated shirts — at school and basketball games. The proceeds will go to the children’s heart ward at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
“To be honest with you, [second-grade teacher JoRae Myers] and I didn’t think we were going to raise this much money,” second-grade teacher Melissa Welch said at Lincoln’s assembly Monday morning.
According to Welch, her students were inspired by Will Wheat and Jillian Bruner, two fellow classmates who have heart problems.
“The kids have really [taken ownership of this] because of Will and Jillian,” she said.
Will’s heart problem, requiring two pacemaker replacement surgeries in the last year, has been a reminder to the second-graders that their classmates and others like them can use their support, Welch said.
“We get so wrapped up in the holidays we forget there are people less fortunate than us,” Welch said, adding that the fundraiser has taught the kids the value of giving.
The second-graders’ spirit of giving has been contagious, making it onto KAKE news last week. At the assembly Monday, Brian Feldt, Fort Hays nursing student and Will’s uncle, told Lincoln students the Fort Hays nursing program is donating $200 to their fund.
In turn, the second-graders donated all their loose change (about $51) to the Mongolian housing project the fifth-graders are working on.
Welch said her students want to use the rest of their T-shirts to raise more money for another organization, having received such a good response from the community on their first project.
“It means a lot to the second-graders,” she said.