Students Collect Caps For Kids With Cancer - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/20/03

Students Collect Caps For Kids With Cancer

Ruth Zufelt knows firsthand about the generosity of people in South Mississippi.

Before Christmas, we shared the story of the Jackson County woman's campaign to collect caps for the young cancer patients at St. Jude Hospital.

She set a goal of fifteen hundred hats, but has collected nearly three times that many.

Children are among the campaign's biggest supporters.

"We got a bunch of 'em," said a fifth grader as she helped count a box filled with caps.

Orange Lake Elementary students admired the results of their community service project. Nearly two hundred caps will be donated to a worthy cause.

"This is the Beta Club and we're doing a project to get caps, hats and scarves for the people at St. Jude who've had chemo therapy, and they had leukemia," explained Ty Russell.

The healthy kids understand why the youngsters with cancer will appreciate the hats.

"So they can have something over their head and they won't feel embarrassed. 'Cause when you have cancer, you lose your hair," said Jesika Stork.

Jessica says it's no fun to be embarrassed. Other kids can be cruel to those who may be different.

"I'm helping the St. Jude kids so they won't feel embarrassed. 'Cause I know how it feels to be embarrassed," she said.

Ruth Zufelt's campaign will help many kids with cancer, avoid that embarrassment. She's collected more than four thousand hats and caps.

"There's just so many people along the coast that have risen to the challenge. It's just so unreal. It's hard to explain the feelings you know, you think it's just an ordinary project, but it's really not," she said.

The youngsters at Orange Lake have made connections with St. Jude kids before. They raised two thousand dollars in the St. Jude math-a-thon. Now, success with the cap campaign.

Angela Broome is the Beta Club sponsor.

"It's very rewarding to work with a group of kids that can take charge, do things on their own and have such a sense of pride about it too," she said.

Moss Point kids feel good giving, helping other kids feel better about themselves.

Ruth Zufelt says she's received overwhelming support from many schools and businesses across South Mississippi. She plans on making her cap campaign an annual project.

By Steve Phillips

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