Project asks students to do good in the community

Published: Feb. 24, 2017 at 10:55 PM EST
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(02/24/17) - Over dinner Friday, the Gaines community is helping sophomore Emily Stanis get an 'A' on her project, and they're raising money for a local Michigan charity.

"My entire life I've been surrounded by military families, veteran families. So I knew I wanted to do something to help them," Emily explained.

But she needed some help. Emily was able to get the Knights of Columbus on board. They provided the hall and made a donation to her project.

And then she took it from there ...

"We went just business to business and asked for donations. We went to Big Boys and they donated the sauce for us, we went Riverside Market in Durand and they gave us salad. We went to Sam's Restaurant, they gave us bread sticks and then Lennon Café actually gave us 2 pies," she explained.

The money raised from Friday's dinner will go straight to the VFW National Home for Children located in Eaton Rapids.

"What this charity does is it basically provides like homes for them, homes for like military and veteran families to basically get on their feet. They provide education, help find jobs," she said.

"This is about as big as it gets so this is cool," teacher Ben Gillett said.

He assigns this project to his students every year, hoping the teens realize the difference they can make.

"They sometimes don't believe - they're like we're just kids, we can't really do anything and it's actually really cool to see a community rally around them and them to be able to make a really, really positive difference," he explained.

"It feels really great, like I didn't expect to get this many people and it's really good to see everyone out here," Emily added.

Emily tells us she's guessing more than $800 was raised Friday night. That's well above what she expected!