Luv T-Shirt Challenge

From left, Hickory High School students Kendra Koerth, Daisy Rust, Carter Gill, Clay Wiesen, Joey Fazzone, Abby Cozad, Ava Spielvogle, Landon Koerth, and Donny DeBlasio, members of the club “Students for Charity,” are pictured here with a T-shirt that was signed as part of a fundraiser that generated $1,000 toward mental health.

HERMITAGE — A group of students at Hickory High School recently found a new way to raise funds toward mental health awareness.

The “Luv T-Shirt challenge,” which culminated in late-April, was organized by “Random Acts of Kindness,” a part of the school club “Students for Charity.” The challenge managed to raise $1,000, Principal Dr. Chris Gill said.

The challenge involved students in “Random Acts of Kindness” breaking into five groups of two, then challenging each team to raise $100 by charging people to sign their T-shirt for a dollar, said teacher Laura Mount, who serves as the group’s adviser.

The participating students involved Carter Gill, Kendra Koerth, Joey Fazzone, Clay Wiesen, Donny DeBlasio, Daisy Rust, Alena Nguyen, Abby Cozad, Landon Koerth and Ava Spielvogle, and represented a cross-section of students from various backgrounds, ranging from leaders in the arts to athletics, Gill said.

The teams were successful and raised $500 in donations, which was matched by a donation from the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio, Mount said.

The funds will be donated to the high school’s guidance office, who will put the funds toward outreach activities regarding mental health awareness. In particular, Gill said the funds would help address social and emotional learning that was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and periods of remote instruction.

Although the students in “Random Acts of Kindness” organize various fundraisers throughout the year, Gill said this was the first time the club had done the “Luv T-Shirt challenge.”

In appreciation for the fund raiser, the students involved in the fundraiser were presented with mugs featuring a quote by author George Ellison with treats inside.

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