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'It's Completely Overwhelming': Radnor Elementary Students Answer Principal's Giving Fridays Challenge

RADNOR, Pa. (CBS) -- Tis the season for giving, but for students at Radnor Elementary School, giving lasts last all year. Before students headed to the holiday break, the principal posed a challenge, and the students gladly accepted.

It's been anything but a traditional school year for students, but at Radnor Elementary, they still found a way to help neighbors in need, collecting donations every week for the United Methodist Church in Wayne.

"It's completely overwhelming," Jen Shank said. "Completely overwhelming."

Giving Fridays started three years ago with Shank, a mom on a mission to teach children the importance of giving.

"At the time we were really looking for an outlet for our children to be able to volunteer, and it was really hard at that age to find that," Shank said. "And at the same time, I was hearing of the need here within our community so it just seemed like a natural thing to combine having our children involved and giving back to our community.

Radnor Principal Dr. Anthony Stevenson saw the need for donations this year was greater than ever so after a successful week of holiday giving, he posed a challenge.

"If we are able to raise enough cans then I will dress as the Grinch," Stevenson said.

"Oh my goodness, within two days, we out-surpassed what he was having us do. It's been crazy, two cars full of food for the pantry on a daily basis for the past two weeks," Shank said.

He may be known for stealing Christmas, but Stevenson -- Uhm, the Grinch -- is a man of his word. In a world full of Grinches, Shank's a Cindy Lou Who, impossible to know how many lives she and hundreds of students have touched.

"It brings tears to my eyes that the fact that we're talking about this right now," Shanks said, "and that our children on a weekly basis giving back and helping their community. That's what it's all about."

One thing is for sure, this Christmas will be on to remember.

Following Radnor's lead, the other two elementary schools in the district are starting their giving Fridays in the new year.


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