The students raised the money with help from family and friends and doing chores to earn money. Vega said some even chose to donate their savings to add to the total.
He described philanthropy as helping someone by giving money, love and time.
Boggan said it made her proud to see how the students took ownership of the project.
Hurtado said they were excited to see the total grow each morning when she would update the number on the board.
“My heart was pounding,” Hurtado said about seeing Rhaniyah and her mom, Rebecca Parnell, step out of the car to cheers and encouraging signs from third and fourth graders. “To me, that was the biggest thing was seeing her walk out of the car.”
While they were raising the money, Hurtado said, the students did not know who they were helping until the check presentation Dec. 13.
Tears flowed as Hurtado, Vega, Boggan, and representatives of the third grade bilingual class met Rhaniyah and her mom in the front of the school to hand over presents and a $450 check.