ROXBURY, NJ – A school project that gathered small gifts for kids with cancer ended successfully this month, said the Roxbury High School students who created it.
“Project Glow Gold,” formed by Roxbury senior Madison Ketch, senior Jessica Marie Bartelloni and junior Gabby Keuscher came up just shy of its goal of supplying 5,000 children with gifts, said Bartelloni.
“Our biggest response was from Jefferson School in Succasunna,” she said.
The students collected small items – not big monetary donations – including coloring books, crayons, fuzzy socks, lip balm, anti-nausea wristbands, magazines, books, puzzles, reusable water bottles, stress balls and chewing gum. They created a website and Facebook page and reached out to Roxbury organizations, including the Roxbury Rotary Club, for help.
The teens also sold about 200 bracelets that say “Project Glow Gold” on one side and “Be Bold Glow Gold” on the other. They also collected several hundred dollars in monetary donations, including $200 from the Rotary Club.
“Our most received items were craft supplies … and coloring books,” Bartelloni said. The team assembled kits that included coloring books, a crayons, packs of gum, pencils, pens, stickers, stress balls and playdoh, she said.
The kits were delivered to young patients at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital in Hackensack, Morristown Memorial Goryeb Center in Morristown and St Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, said Bartelloni.
She said more kits will soon be delivered to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, St Jude's in New York City, Sloan Kettering in New York City, Newark Beth Israel Children's Hospital, Unterberg Children’s Hospital in Monmouth, Saint Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, Saint Peter’s Children’s University in New Brunswick and Penn State Children's Hospital.
Because the project was successful and personally fulfilling, Bartelloni – headed to college in the fall, wants to do it again.
“When I am in college I plan on restarting this next year in January once again since it is something I have a passion for,” she said. “I want to be a pediatric oncology nurse. I feel like this was a big success and I’m so proud to be part of a community with such big hearts.”