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Scugog student raises funds to give S.A. Cawker students a buddy bench

DAN CEARNS The Standard

SCUGOG: A local Scugog student is looking to make sure no student feels alone at S.A. Cawker Public School.

Eleven-year-old Scarlette McLellan-Swain is helping the school acquire a ‘buddy bench.’ Using online site GoFundMe, Scarlette was able to raise over $800, with Nancy Eickmeier, owner of Helping Hands Daycare in Port Perry, chipping in the remainder to purchase the bench.

A ‘buddy bench’ is designed to give children a place to sit if they want or need someone to talk to.

“I have returned to full in-person school this year and there [were] times I really found it hard to find my place. I want anyone who is having a bad day, a sad moment or feels left out and lonely to have a place to rest. I hope others realize when they see someone sitting there, they can help and sit a bit too,” Scarlette wrote, in the online fundraiser post.

Scarlette stressed, to The Standard, in undertaking this initiative she “understood that helping others was important” to her and she “wanted others to understand they weren’t alone.”

“I went into school this year, and it was hard and I didn’t really have any friends. So, I just didn’t want other people to feel like that,” Scarlette explained.

Her mother, Alexandria McLellan-Swain, talked about what it was like working with the school on this endeavour.

“When she approached them with the idea, they were pretty excited that a student would support other students. The Vice Principal really supported it, so it was nice.”

Scarlette said she was surprised at how much support the campaign saw in a short time frame.

“It’s actually been pretty good. I thought it would take maybe until August [to raise the funds].”

Alexandria pointed out this is not the first time Scarlette has given back to the Scugog community, as she has done campaigns for Operation Scugog, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Port Perry Hospital in the past.

“I’m always proud of where her heart is,” she added.

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