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Drumroll, Please! Announcing the Winners!

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Merry Christmas everybody! As you all know, today is the day I have been waiting for! I am about to announce the winners of the contests– the GRAND PRIZES, the BETTER LATE THAN NEVER PRIZES, and the CLASSROOM CHALLANGE PRIZE. Some people have been wondering how my mom and I kept track of the people who were participating. Well, that was easy. We kept a spread sheet on Microsoft Excel. Every night, we looked at my comments and secretly looked at your blogs to see what you did to make a difference. Then, my mom showed me how to cut and paste the things you wrote into our spreadsheet. People who didn’t blog e-mailed us everyday, saying what they did.  We have been keeping track all month long. Reading about all the things you’ve done has made my holiday the best one yet! This has been a wonderful learning experience for me, not only learning how to blog better, but learning that doing small things can make the world a very merry place! Reading about all of the good things that you did were great presents for me! So, I want to say thank you to all 60 people and 6 classrooms that took part in this challenge!

And now, drumroll please!!!

Thanks to everyone who matched my donations, we have $825.00 dollars to award tonight! This morning, my teacher, Mrs. Nabozny, gave me a very special Christmas gift by matching my funds. Thank you to everyone! I only ever planned to contribute my allowance for this month. It’s because of everyone else’s pledges that this got so HUGE!

There are two prizes for those who either joined later in the contest or may not have done all twenty five days. I have named these the Better Late Than Never Prizes, and I have picked one adult and one child winner. Each winner will receive a $100.00 donation to the charity that they name.

The adult winner is NEDRASome of the things that Nedra did included donating food to a food bank, buying supplies for a local classroom, using Roswell Park Christmas cards this year, buying clothes for needy children, feeding hungry animals, helping someone who experienced a death in her family this year, helping to run a holiday concert, and writing lots of notes of appreciation (among many other things)!  

The child prize is being awarded to the DUVALL FAMILY! Addie stayed late after her Brownie meeting to help clean up, she shoveled and dug a neighbor out of the snow, they donated supplies for soldiers overseas, emptied their piggy banks to contribute to a school fundraiser, gave money to the Salvation Army, and even shared the last of their favorite treats with their siblings rather than keeping them all for themselves!

There are also two Grand Prize Winners (one adult and one child). These winners participated right from the beginning of our contest! Donations in the amount of $250.00 (each) will be made directly to the charities that you name.

Our adult winner was Coco! Coco did so much this season that I can’t write it all here….but some of the highlights included making donations to the Salvation Army, donating clothes and books, starting online gift registries for the Salvation Army, visiting local fireman with homemade treats to thank them for their help all year long, donating food to food banks, donating toys to local hospitals, being kind to drivers by letting them cut in front of her. Supporting the Susan G. Komen foundation and joining Team WhyMommy. There is so much, much more…Coco has been really inspiring this season.

The child Grand Prize is being awarded to Lillian, Duncan, Hunter, and Drew!!! Some of the things that they did included donating books to a youth book exchange, helping their grandparents with a tricky home renovation purchase, creating multimedia holiday cards for troops overseas, donating free mammagrams, paying for a random shopper’s purchase at a Hostess store–because she was short on cash, and babysitting for those who needed it during the holiday season. These kids live in Utah, too–and they have shoveled more snow than any other person involved in this contest has. Again, they did more too, but these are just the highlights.

And finally, we have one winner of the Classroom Challenge. The winning classroom will win a $125.00 donation to the charity that they name as well as this very special prize from Susan and her husband at Toddler Planet:

 A 4 foot x 3 foot photo printout of the Martian landscape taken by the Mars rovers, a packet of solar system lithographs, and a special video conference call (or audio, if the school doesn’t have a webcam) with two NASA scientists.  We’ll give a talk and answer questions from the winning class. 

This winning classroom did quite a lot to make a difference using technology. First of all, the STUDENTS created a classroom WIKI, which will help to keep all of them organized and informed. The ENTIRE SCHOOL also participated in a “Free Rice Marathon.” Students were brought to the computer lab in 15 minute shifts all day long. They worked on over thirty computers and were able to “win” and “donate” 750,000 grains of rice through the United Nations to end world hunger. You can all play free rice (for free!) here. And the winner of the Classroom Challenge was Mr. Jones’s class! Congratulations!!!

Thank you, again, for making this holiday season so special for everyone!

If you are a winner, please email us by New Year’s Day to name your charity. Mr. Jones! You can let us know as soon as you are able to meet with your class again–no rush!

And if you are someone who has matched my funds, we will let you know via email which charity you can forward your donation to as soon as we have that information from our winners.

I will also be writing a post so that everyone who is reading knows exactly which charities benefitted from this contest and our generous contributors.

Writing this post was kind of sad for me, because I have really enjoyed doing this so much. A lot of people are asking if I will be doing this again next year, and the answer is YES. I will definitely be doing this contest again next year! I am also thinking about how I want to use this blog all year long. My mom and I are going to talk about that this week, while I am off, and I will announce my plans very soon! So, don’t leave just yet!

Congratulations, everybody!!!! And thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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How I Made a Difference on December 25th

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Today, I served mass at St. Paul’s Church. I was really nervous about doing this, because I thought that there would be a lot of people there. But my Church really needs help with altar serving on Christmas, so I wanted to help out. This is a really good example of how helping out and being of service really makes ME feel even better than the people I am helping. 

I was really lucky, because my friend Samantha ended up serving with me. She has taught me a lot about being a good altar server, because she is older than me, and she has been doing this longer. Thank you Samantha, for helping me and for being there today too!

I hope that everyone has a chance over the next few days to leave comments about the things they have done to make a difference this holiday season. Also! Don’t forget to light a cyber-candle here too! I hope you are all having a very Merry Christmas if you are celebrating today. I will be back later with our BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS!