Riverside Elementary School fourth-grader Rachel Taylor was hard at work Thursday, slipping valentines under classroom doors.
The red slips of paper were no ordinary greeting cards.
Children, parents and staff members bought the special valentines last week to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, a national organization that grants wishes to children who have life-threatening medical conditions.
The school sold the valentines for $1 each, and the success of the fundraiser grew each day, said Linda Bargeron, a Riverside Elementary guidance counselor who organized the event.
The school raised $1,000 for Make-A-Wish.
"It made me feel really good because I knew all the money would be raised. It would help a lot of kids," Rachel said.
The 10-year-old should know.
Rachel, who had a brain stem tumor removed in January 2004, when she was 6 years old, was granted a wish by the foundation in September 2005. She and her parents visited the set of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in California.
"It was a lifetime experience," said Rachel. "We watch (the show) every Sunday, and we love to watch it so much. We think that it's a really cool show, and we love to see people enjoy their houses."
Rachel's mother, Gloria Taylor, approached the school about conducting a fund-raiser for Make-A-Wish. Bargeron came up with the idea of selling valentines.
"We want to be able to support another child's opportunity for a wish because of the wonderful experience we had," Taylor said.
Taylor said Rachel had five surgeries overall and underwent eight months of rehabilitation.
"We had lived an extremely traumatic year that was just completely unexpected," Taylor said. "It put all thoughts of her illness aside. She was just a normal kid who got to do something extraordinary."
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