Clearview students provide buckets of joy for those in need

Clearview sophomores raise money for Delaware charity, Buckets of Love Foundation

Children at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., received multiple buckets of toys from the Buckets of Love Foundation; Clearview sophomores donated more than $300 to the cause. The toys were given to the children this summer during Camp WeBelong, a week long summer camp at the hospital.

With the help of Clearview Regional High School students, children burdened in their early years with serious medical conditions will receive buckets of toys.

During the past school year, the Clearview Regional Sophomore Leadership Academy engaged with a charity, the Buckets of Love Foundation.

The foundation was started in the spring of 2017 by two Delaware sisters, 10-year-old Reagan and 6-year-old Peyton Garnsey.

Reagan said, “When we first founded Buckets of Love, our goal was to improve the lives of some of the children in our local community. We thought that this foundation was the best way for two kids to get involved and make a difference. It has been just over a year since we began and every minute since then has been incredible.”

According to the site, since the foundation’s inception, more than $7,000 has been raised and used to buy toys and entertainment items for children ages 2 to 12.

Clearview students are responsible for the creation of 35 buckets because of their donation of $350. The buckets of toys were donated to a hospital in Wilmington this summer.

For the past six years, Clearview has offered a leadership academy to sophomores with the goal of preparing the teens for life as upperclassmen. The event is held on a Saturday in April, and this year more than 100 Clearview sophomores were present.

“We are preparing them to be leaders in the school,” said Paul Sommers, a Clearview guidance counselor.

Sommers said this year’s SLA was meant to focus on leadership and the good and bad sides of social media, and, while it did, students took it upon themselves to add another element — donating to charity.

“I’m so proud of them. [The fundraiser] came out of nowhere,” Sommers said.

SLA offers sophomores the chance to listen to local leaders in various professions talk about subjects such as volunteer work and the traits of a good leader.

Speakers in the past included A.J. Ernst, a teacher at Young Scholars Charter School in Philadelphia and Brighid Burgin, an engineer at ExxonMobil. The day is organized mainly by the students. Each year, two students are picked as Sophomore Leadership Academy interns.

This year those interns were Paige Bathurst and Raymond Milavsky. Bathurst and Milavsky were picked after an extensive application process in which they competed against 18 classmates.

“SLA taught me the value of hard work,” Bathurst said. “[We] had to make an outline of the day, find a keynote speaker, find teachers and counselors to volunteer their time to us.”

Raymond Milavsky and Paige Bathurst at the 2018 Sophomore Leadership Academy (SLA).

She said she and Milavsky had two months to prepare for the event. However, the idea to implement the charitable aspect stems from another recent Clearview endeavor.

During the 2017–2018 school year, the Clearview Regional Students in Action team won multiple awards from the Jefferson Awards Foundation, including a recognition for the amount of service hours logged by students. The Jefferson Awards Foundation is a national organization founded in 1972 with the purpose of inspiring change in communities across the country through public service.

At the ceremony, Bathurst said she remembers the leaders of Buckets of Love receiving an award, and she was moved by their story.

“The girls were so inspiring to me, and I was thinking of how we could activate a fundraiser within our school,” Bathurst said.

Milavsky said, “Buckets of Love was the perfect charity and stood to the motto of ‘think globally, act locally.’ The two young children who started Buckets of Love had a global idea of giving joy to those who need it most and applied it in a local way that shows immediate results. It is really quite amazing.”

He added, “I truly look up to them for forging this path. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to donate to their organization.”

Of the children receiving the buckets, Bathurst said, “Even though we have never met them, they are struggling with a severe illness at such a young age and the fact that our donation can bring a little joy into their lives is the real definition of giving and helping.”

In a statement provided by the Garnsey sisters, they said, “The success of Buckets of Love depends on building partnerships and activations across the country. Clearview High School’s donation was responsible for bringing smiles to over 35 children’s faces, one bucket at a time.”

To learn more about the Buckets of Love Foundation, visit http://www.bucketsoflove.us/.