BROWNVILLE, Maine — She’s only 10 years old, but Danielle Sanders knew she had to do something to help out the Milo fire victims.
“My mom and I were thinking how bad you’d feel if you lost all of your stuff,” the Brownville Elementary School student said Wednesday. She seized upon that thought and a few days later suggested to students and faculty that they raise money to help the victims’ fund. In one week, students and staff collected $104, she said.
“I thought at first I’d get $50, but I was surprised when my teacher told me we raised $104,” Danielle said, the daughter of Vicky and Scott Sanders. “I was surprised so many people cared.”
Danielle said she had first suggested to Principal Chris Beres that the school gather clothing. When Beres told her the town had collected enough clothing for the fire victims, Sanders asked if the students and staff could donate their spare change.
“I’m very proud of her,” Beres said Wednesday. “She’s kind of a quiet little girl,” but she led the school in the effort.
The young girl with velvet brown eyes pitched the idea to the school during an assembly on Sept. 25. “It made me a little nervous in announcing it because I’m a little shy, but I did my best,” she said.
Danielle didn’t stop there. She drew posters, embellished them with some artwork and placed them in each of the classrooms as a gentle reminder. Jars were placed in the office and in some classrooms, she said.
“One kid got a $5 bill for us, which was great,” Sanders said. She also appreciated the pennies, nickels and dimes that made up most of the funds. Even though most students did not know the victims, they all cared about them, she said.
The Sept. 14 arson destroyed five downtown buildings in Milo and heavily damaged a sixth.