JOPLIN, Mo. — Area Amazon staff workers have partnered with Jefferson Elementary school to help the school’s families in need this holiday season.
For over 10 years, Jefferson Elementary has hosted an annual “Penny Wars” event to support holiday needs for families. Classes were challenged to drop pennies and dollar bills into buckets to earn positive points toward their class total. Silver coins were placed in rival class buckets to subtract points. After four weeks of collection, the class with the highest score earned a pizza party.
“For the past couple of years, for perspective, we have raised between $1,500 and $1,700 each
year,” said Dr. Jason Weaver, Jefferson Elementary Principal. “So we knew Amazon’s donation would more than double what we were able to do for Jefferson families in need.”
This year, Amazon partners heard about Penny Wars thanks to a relationship fostered on Jefferson’s Site Council and offered to donate $2,000 toward the final total.
“Most of our campuses host Site Council meetings in order to form relationships with community members interested in joining hands to support that school’s needs,” said Joplin Schools Director of Communications Sarah Coyne. “Site Councils are a fantastic way for our neighbors to have a presence in the schools, and to show the kids and staff that they’re supported by a loving, enthusiastic community.”
Penny Wars at Jefferson raised just under $3,000 before Amazon’s donation.
Families were enrolled in the program and had the opportunity to visit a store with a Jefferson staff member to shop within a budget and take gifts home for their students. Some families helped directly through Amazon’s donation shopped through an Amazon wishlist, and those gifts were sent to the families pre-wrapped ready to be put under the Christmas tree.
“This event brings out such great competition among our staff and students because of the
impact it has on our Jefferson families,” said Monica Bay, Jefferson Elementary Teacher, Organizer for Penny Wars. “Every cent dropped in our buckets brings joy to a kiddo in our building. With Amazon joining us on this journey, we will be able to reach a
record number of families this holiday season, and that’s an amazing gift to our building!”