Bexley News

Middle school showcases effort for Charity Newsies

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Bexley Middle School eighth-graders (from left) Grace Cantrell, Madison Brown, Noa Miller, Mia Flora, Grace Hunley and performing arts teacher Bill Manchester belt one out during the school's Nov. 26 Charity Newsies rally, performing before the final check presentation at the end of the gathering. The school raised nearly $6,000 for the organization during this year's annual drive.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Since 1907, Charity Newsies has been clothing children throughout Franklin County.

Last year alone, the group touched the lives of some 11,000 local children, providing coats, shoes, shirts, pants and undergarments so they wouldn't miss a day of school.

And while the Newsies are known for standing outside in the freezing cold every December selling newspapers in exchange for charitable donations, it was anything but cold inside Bexley Middle School Nov. 26, where students joined with local dignitaries to hand over their own contribution to the Newsies' efforts.

Mayor Ben Kessler made an appearance, debuting on the piano, while Bexley Police Chief Larry Rinehart turned up the heat on the drums and the mandolin.

A number of students joined in, singing and performing. Musical guests Jason Hogue, Mike Adams and Leo Morales got toes tapping with a little jazz and bluegrass.

It was the school's 67th annual rally to support Charity Newsies, one of the oldest and efforts in the Newsies' history.

"I was just amazed," said Shari Carroll, chairwoman of the Charity Newsies' 2013 Drive. "Until last year, I had no idea these kids do what they do."

And that's raise money.

Through efforts this fall, students at Bexley Middle School raised nearly $6,000 for Charity Newsies. The contribution brought Carroll to tears as she accepted the giant check presented to her after the roof-raising rally Nov. 26.

As each guest took to the podium, the message was clear -- Bexley is a very giving community.

"You will be amazed as you grow older -- or you may know it now," Rinehart told the students in the audience, "how critical this will be to your well-being and your sense of purpose. I challenge you to not only continue your support of the Charity Newsies, but I would challenge you to think about other areas of our society where people need your help."

It's a lesson Carroll said starts early.

"Kids at this age start to learn to reach out to their community, to be a part of it, and to give back. It's a real-life lesson," she said. "Then they will be doing this for the rest of their lives because they will be learning it at an early age."

Kessler agreed, saying the proof is in the pudding.

"Bexley is built on volunteerism," he told the middle school students. "It's the way we step up and give."

According to the Charity Newsies organization, Bexley has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the charity since 1946, helping to clothe hundreds of children in Franklin County. In fact, $140 is all it takes to fully outfit one child with brand new clothing.

The Charity Newsies will be out in full force Saturday, Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m., peddling their wares during the group'sa annual newspaper drive.

The first papers for the charity were sold in 1907 at the corner of Broad and High streets in downtown Columbus after concerned men watched a poorly clothed boy try to sell newspapers outside their window -- to no avail.

Their efforts that year raised $700, which they decided to give to school children in need of clothing.

It has become their mission that no child shall be kept out of school for lack of adequate clothing.