SANDY CREEK – Lynn Dumas, a third grade student at Sandy Creek Elementary was looking for a way to raise money, so she created what she called fidgets: flour filled balloons that students could squeeze to ease stress or anxiety and help them focus in the classroom.
She created the fidgets at home and sold them to her friends and classmates, earning about $20 for her efforts.
It’s what she did with the money that showed her true spirit of generosity: she went shopping and purchased toys, puzzle books and games which she donated to the children at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse.
“I had my tonsils out there when I was three,” said eight-year-old Dumas, citing her connection to the children’s hospital as her reason for selecting it as her charitable cause.
To promote her “fidget” sales, Dumas made posters to advertise her product which she placed around the school.
One of her teachers, William Benedict, who teaches physical education in the district, learned of Dumas’ fidgets through her posters.
When he asked her about the project, she told him why she was trying to earn money.
After speaking with Dumas’ mother, Dory, Benedict was so moved by Lynn’s selfless act, he shared her story with fellow staff members and others at the school.
So inspired by her generosity, Benedict organized a collection from staff members and student council that amounted to $240 to support Dumas’ cause.
The Dumas family intends to contact the hospital to ask what types of gifts are most needed, but Lynn can hardly wait to shop for the children.
“The box we took before was pretty big,” she said. “I had to carry it a long way. I don’t know how big this one will be.”
The weight of the box will not deter her interminable spirit, if anything it will strengthen her giving heart and her willingness to help others.
“I’m so proud of her,” said her mother, a sentiment echoed by her father, both of whom were on hand for the presentation to Lynn at a morning meeting of all students at the school.