Today is the last day for Carrboro High School students to donate to their Winter Links fundraiser benefiting the nonprofit organization Positive Impact for Kids.
Carrboro High School sophomore Leanne Joyce, 16, and her fellow students have raised more than $800 in three weeks for Positive Impact for Kids, an organization Joyce founded in 2011.
“I help hospital staff better meet the emotional and physical needs of their pediatric patients,” Joyce said. “My nonprofit provides hospitals with appropriate distraction and tools for education and socialization.”
Joyce, previously a competitive gymnast, swimmer and jump roper, started the organization after her doctor told her that her progressing heart condition would become life-threatening if she continued the rigorous physical activity.
“While waiting for test results, teenage volunteers handed me a gift, which completely relieved my stress and I knew I wanted to give back,” Joyce said.
Positive Impact for Kids was selected by the Carrboro student body to be the receiving local charity of its donations.
“I am honored that Positive Impact for Kids was chosen as the beneficiary of CHS’s generous Winter Links initiative,” Joyce said. “Support from the CHS community means so much to me and I am glad to be a part of such a philanthropic school.”
Leah Abrams, CHS student government president, said she was not surprised when Positive Impact was selected because people knew Joyce and wanted to support her.
“As a school, we have generated thousands of dollars for Chapel Hill-Carrboro charities through this campaign,” Abrams said. “The students at Carrboro get really into this, and they're passionate about improving the world around them.”
Abrams added that Winter Links had previously been focused during Thanksgiving and winter break on raising money for local families in need, but this year the students decided to move the fundraiser to January and find an organization the students felt passionately about.
She said each 5th period class in the school competes to see which class raises the most money, which usually comes from the students’ spare change.
Carrboro High School Principal Laverne Mattocks said the school's student body is comprised of compassionate and civic-minded students — which is why Winter Links has become such a big event at their school.
“I can tell you that it is a vital part of the Carrboro High School tradition,” Mattocks said. “We do it annually and people look forward to it.”
Jamie Schendt, adviser to the student government association at Carrboro High School, said the school is very fortunate to have many students like Joyce who are passionate about important issues.
“Whether it be through Leanne's organization or the efforts of our various clubs and organizations, Carrboro High School students constantly impress me with their leadership capacity and desire to make an impact,” Schendt said.
Joyce said Positive Impact for Kids has raised more than $50,000 and donated 73 iPads, over 700 gift cards, as well as gaming systems and laptops among other requested items.
“I hope to raise $100,000 by my high school graduation in 2018. I plan to donate to at least 500 hospitals and affect over 1.5 million pediatric patients,” Joyce said. “I would like Positive Impact for Kids to be a nationally recognized nonprofit.”
Those looking to donate should contact Schendt at Carrboro High School or visit the Positive Impact for Kids website.