865 Cards for Joey

One of the coaches in our Association, Ron Adams of Wyandotte Michigan Roosevelt High School, shared some pretty inspiring new with me. It is an awesome example of a coach-teacher bringing VIRTUE everywhere they go and impacting hundreds of people along the way. A simple class assignment, the intentional focus on virtue brought out the best in a softball player.
 
A student athlete took it upon herself to show this video to her entire school, collect almost 1,000 cards for an 11 year old boy with cancer and then drive an hour one way to deliver them in person.
 
Here is the short video that inspired her to action
 

 

 
Imagine if every coach-teacher across the country did this! More info below.
 
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I am sending you this because I believe it is a story that should be shared during the holidays. I think it truly represents the true meaning of Christmas. 
 
After you watch Joey's story you will understand why this is so special. I teach Global Events and this year I have made a commitment to discuss topics that represent something our society is in great need of, Virtue. 
 
A couple of weeks ago I passed out the news papers (Detroit News, Detroit Free Press & USA Today) and the students in my class were asked to find an article of their choice, summarize it and share it with the class. 
 
Lauren Hall, a senior here at Wyandotte Roosevelt, talked to our class about Joey's story and his unfortunate battle with leukemia. She was inspired to help reach the 1000 cards for Joey and encourage others in our school to help. 
 
As a memeber of our Key Club, sponsored by Sheryl Brna, the group reached out to the entire Wyandotte School district. What started out as an act of Virtue at Roosevelt High School was made available to every school in our district. We showed the news report to the kids in our district and I can't tell you how proud I am of our kids and the response we received. The last count for cards was around 600 for just Roosevelt. Lauren indicated she was collecting the cards and was going to personally deliver them to Joey. This really makes me feel good about what our community represents. 
 
Laren Hall is not someone looking to be featured, it's not her personality. I know she didn't do this becasue she wanted attention, she just wanted to help make a difference. 
 
I asked Lauren if I could provide you with her contact information and she was more than willing. I hope you will take the time to report this story with the hope it will inspire others to do something VIRTUOUS.  
 
Ron Adams 
S. S. Teacher/Head Football Coach
Wyandotte Roosevelt High School
 
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Roosevelt Students Send Heartfelt Wishes to Young Cancer Patient
Wyandotte Roosevelt High students rally to make cards for Joey Caretti, a young boy in his second battle with cancer, and deliver their messages of encouragement in time for Christmas.
• By Kathleen Trent
 
The students at Roosevelt High School have plenty of heart.
 
They proved it recently by organizing an outpouring of support for an 11-year-old boy recently diagnosed with leukemia.
 
It all started in early December.
 
Ron Adams, who teaches global events, asked his class to focus on some stories of virtue. He passed out some newspapers and told them to pick an article to discuss in class.
 
Lauren Hall, a senior, was inspired by a story about Joey Caretti of Washington Township. Joey had won the battle with a rare form of brain cancer on Nov. 11. But just weeks later, he was diagnosed with a second cancer–leukemia.
 
Now facing yet another battle with additional cancer treatments and the prospect of a bone marrow transplant, Joey was humble enough to simply ask for some get-well wishes. In response, thousands of cards have been sent from all over the U.S. and the world. 
 
Cards for Joey. What a great idea, Hall thought, and especially at Christmas.
 
A Goal and a Plan
 
That’s when Hall sprang into action. She put in a request at the school to have the student body view a video clip about Joey from Fox 2 News. She wanted the students to actually experience Joey’s story.
 
By Dec. 21, she was still waiting for her project idea to make it through the necessary approval process. Hall said that with every passing day she felt even more determined to take action.
 
As a member of the Key Club, Hall knew her school's community service group would help. Teacher Sheryl Brna also got involved on Lauren's behalf.  They contacted the principal’s office and got through the first hurdle. They called the board office in an effort to obtain supplies of markers and card stock. The board came through and it was a go.
 
The Key Club also enlisted the help of the Aktion Club, a service group comprised of special-needs students. As Hall worked behind the scenes organizing all the details, the group of student volunteers was able to staff two 8-foot tables during all lunches on Dec. 22-23.
 
“We set up a stand in the cafeteria so we would not disrupt the classes,” Hall said. “We were hoping to get some cards for Joey because that is what he wanted most.”
 
And cards they got.  The volunteers worked the booth while the video clip was set up to run continuously so the students having lunch could see Joey’s story.
 
“Kids were coming over to see what was going on and how they could help,” Hall said.
 
“They used the card stock and markers to make some very special get-well cards for Joey,” Brna said. “Some were extremely elaborate. The students also used inspirational quotes in their cards.”
 
By the time it was all said and done Hall and the other students had collected more than a few cards. The get-well wishes totaled 865 cards to be exact.
 
So many students had taken time out to make cards for Joey. It was an outpouring of support.
 
Cards for Christmas
 
The holiday spirit helped but Hall didn’t feel like her job was done. She wanted to get the cards to Joey before Christmas.  She spoke with Brna and the two decided a road trip was in order.
 
That Friday night they took the cards to the Pokas family of Macomb Township, who collected cards on Joey's behalf. They drove all the way to Macomb to make sure Joey would receive the cards on time.
 
“He did receive them on time and he was thrilled,” Brna said. "Our students were thrilled too."
 
Hall said she has learned several lessons through her project.
 
“This has taught me there are little things you can do to help someone who may not be as fortunate as you,” Hall said.
 
And Hall’s teachers applaud her efforts as well.
 
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of our kids and the response we received,” Adams said. “This really makes me feel good about what our community represents.”
 
His colleague agrees.
 
“It was so heartwarming to see Lauren take on this beautiful project,” Brna said. "The goodwill for Joey went school-wide. The kids also learned they can empower themselves to accomplish great things.”
 
Brna said the students wanted to shower Joey with cards like the courtroom scene from Miracle on 34th Street and that is exactly what they did.
 
The families from Macomb County who were involved in collecting the cards for Joey were duly impressed by the get-well wishes from Wyandotte. They phoned Hall to let her know how much they appreciated her efforts:
 
Hundreds and hundreds of get well wishes sent to Joey–from the heart.