FOX21 News Colorado

6th grader in Colorado Springs makes big moves to help the homeless

COLORADO SPRINGS — A 6th grader at Mountain Song Community School is on a mission.

“We all kind of just took all our change, and put it all in a little jar, and we raised a lot of money,” said Jolena Grohne.

Grohne and her fellow classmates raised a little more than 120 dollars since December, for the less fortunate, after learning about a homeless person who had spent a night in the school garden.

A look at the Mountain Song Community School garden. Credit: Rachel Saurer

“We were just kind of picking up all the embers, all the charcoal that was left because they started a little fire, and then I had an idea to raise money for a homeless charity,” Grohne said.

A teacher helping clean up the garden with the kids said Grohne’s suggestion touched his heart.

“A lot of those sixth graders were really focused on the fire and just the interest of what happened overnight. And Jolena spoke up and she was concerned about the people in our community experiencing homelessness, and I just thought that was such a beautiful way to problem solve,” said Matt Thomas, Mountain Song Community School Agricultural Arts teacher.

Jolena Grohne with all the items she and her class were able to acquire for donation to those experiencing homelessness. Credit: Rachel Saurer

The money raised by the class is enough to cover a day’s stay at The Place, formerly known as Urban Peak Colorado Springs, which works to help move youth out of homelessness.

“That includes a nice, warm place to stay, three meals a day, exiting of the elements, anything harmful like theft, assault, so Jolena just made a huge difference in one person’s life,” said Paige Dubman, development officer at The Place.

On top of the money raised, Grohne and her class were able to donate goods as well.

“Some yoga mats, tennis rackets, even saw some headphones in there, some brand new snow gloves… just anything that The Place has a need for, we tried to find it,” Thomas said.

The Place in Colorado Springs is still in need of a number of items, such as winter gear, toiletries, and monetary donations. Credit: Rachel Saurer

Thomas said he hopes Grohne’s compassionate heart will encourage others to take on additional acts of kindness in the community.

“Just thinking about it right now gives me goosebumps. And it did in the moment too,” Thomas said.

The Place is still seeking donations and is currently accepting all sorts of winter gear. But, Dubman said, their biggest need is financial support. For more information on how to donate, click here.