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Elementary student raises money to help peers

Castlio Elementary student Caroline Woodland [center] raised more than $2,500 for her school’s Backpack Program, which helps students in need.

While it’s not unusual to see a summer lemonade stand around town, it is unusual for all of the proceeds to be donated to help other children. That’s exactly what Castlio fifth-grader Caroline Woodland did after she saw a need in her school.

“I raised money from lemonade stands and bake sales for the backpack program, and we also used a GoFundMe account,” the 10-year-old entrepreneur said. “My friend, she had to use the backpack program. They get food that’s easy to make and eat and it made me feel good to help her.”

The amount Caroline raised also was out of the ordinary; she was able to present a check to her school for $2,550. Principal Tim Scholle accepted the check and reflected on Caroline’s efforts.

“She is a shining example of what kids at Castlio can do when they’re empowered to make a difference in the community,” Scholle said. “She is a student that has a caring heart and a lot of empathy for other students, she saw how the backpack program helped students and she wanted to help, too. I’m very impressed with Caroline. She’s going to do great things in the future.”

Castlio partners with Harvester Christian Church to run the backpack program and provides food for 20-30 students each week.

“It helps kiddos in need be able to bring home food for the weekend,” Counselor Tiffany Nix said. “Every Friday they get a backpack full of nutritious and easy-to-prepare food, breakfasts and lunches, and they bring it back on Monday.”

Students were not the only ones that benefited from Caroline’s generosity. She set up a stand at the Weldon Spring Independence Day Celebration, and sold lemonade, water and sweets. The next day she took the extras to area first responders, including the St. Peters Police Department and the Cottleville Fire Protection District. Philanthropy is nothing new to Caroline, she has established a pattern of generous behavior.

“Last summer she raised $500 for the Humane Society, and this year she asked if she could raise money for her school,” said her mother, Beth Anderson. “She saw some of the kids getting food for the weekends, and she asked me if she could help. It makes me very proud!” 

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