A Classroom Full of Love

Variety Kid Ella sits to the right of the photo in her wheelchair, surrounded by her classmates and teachers. Everyone is holding up a Valentine's Day sign and their hands are forming the shape of a heart.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Variety Kid Ella’s class decided to participate in a service project to generously help someone in need. When asked which charity they wanted to support, it was a no brainer for the students – they wanted to help more kids like Ella.

Ella has cerebral palsy, and Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis has helped her get the equipment she needs to be independent, including a stander and ankle foot orthotics (AFOs). So, Ella’s classmates decided to raise funds for the charity that has helped their friend so much.

“Ella is a shining star in our classroom,” says Ella’s teacher, Mrs. Ambrosious. “She makes each of us feel special with her genuine love of life, making others feel wonderful being with her. Ella approaches anyone that might need an additional smile or sweet words. She is the first person to cheer someone on or encourage a classmate with her comforting voice.”

“The students observe how hard Ella works every day and decided they wanted to help contribute to making a child with cerebral palsy’s daily activities just a little bit easier,” Mrs. Ambrosious continues. “Ella’s mom, Ashley, spoke highly of Variety, a non-profit organization that helps children with disabilities.”

Over the course of just a week, the class raised $500 to donate to Variety so that more children can access vital pieces of medical equipment. The students asked their families and friends for help, and some even donated their own hard-earned money.

“One little guy brought in some money and told Mrs. Ambrosious he was saving it for a certain toy, but he knows how important Ella’s wheelchair and ‘shoes’ (AFOs) are,” says Ashley, Ella’s mom. “He wants other kids to have what they need like his friend Ella.”

“Another student was writing his ‘Dreams List’ and on it was ‘Donate to Variety’ and ‘Start My Own Charity,” she adds.

“The students’ thoughtfulness and generosity have taught all of us about being caring, compassionate and loving towards Ella and other children who face cerebral palsy and other disabilities,” says Mrs. Ambrosious. “Ella rocks!”

We’d like to send a HUGE thank you to Ella’s kind and generous classmates! Because of you all, another kid like Ella will have the help he or she needs to walk, play and just be a kid.

Feeling inspired? If you’d like to give today to help even more St. Louis-area children with disabilities, click here. Thank you!