Fifth grader celebrates holidays by helping needy

Ben Lawrence, organizer of a "Coats for Kids" drive at Wellington.

coats for kids by Karen Diefendorf
Ben Lawrence, an 11-year-old fifth grader at Wellington Elementary, wanted to do something to help other children during the Christmas season, but neither he nor his mom and dad, Lynn and Tad Lawrence, could think of anything--at least not until Ben heard about "Coats for Kids" on KSTW, Channel 11.
   It was exactly what he wanted to do, but he needed help, which he hoped his schoolmates could provide. With his mother's okay, Ben began planning.
   First, he went to Norm Moudry, principal of Wellington, with his idea. Moudry approved the project and Ben went from there.
   "Basically all we did was give Ben a room for storage; he went from there," Moudry explained. "He did it all."
   Ben began by writing a letter of explanation to all the Wellington teachers. He made tally sheets for all the classes, sent flyers to the students, gathered and counted the donations each day, and made daily announcements on the progress of the drive. For the winning class, Ben promised a party.
   As an organizer, Ben proved himself a champion. Because of his efforts, 380 coats, 35 hats, and 58 pairs of mittens were given to "Coats for Kids."
   And, true to his promise, he brought Rice Krispie treats, pop, and potato chips to Mrs. Richardson's class for a party.