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Fair Street kindergartners learn about giving
Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School kindergartners gather around the Love Light tree on Monday at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center. The kindergartners donated more than $100 to the Love Light program, which provides funding for hospice care. - photo by SARA GUEVARA
Love Light
To donate: Call the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Auxiliary at 770-219-1830 or mail donations to The Medical Center Auxiliary, 743 Spring St., Gainesville, GA 30501. Checks should be made to Northeast Georgia Medical Center Auxiliary and donations should include who is to be honored as well as a full address for the acknowledgment card.

They were learning about celebration, but the real lesson was giving.

Kindergartners from Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School culminated their lesson on celebration Monday morning by making a donation to Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Love Light tree.

For a week, approximately 120 kindergartners donated “pennies, nickels, dimes, ice cream money,” to eventually give to the hospital’s yearlong fundraiser for hospice care, said Dolores Croce, team leader of the kindergarten teachers at Fair Street.

“They know exactly that they’re giving for very sick people who are in the hospital and their families,” Croce said.

Through the course of the week, the students raised more than $100 for the Love Light program, Croce said. Monday morning, the kindergartners gathered up the money they had collected and walked it over to the Love Light Garden in front of the hospital’s North Patient Tower. Before they handed their donation off to the hospital, the kindergartners gathered in a circle around the tree and sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

“They had such joy in the giving,” Croce said. “...They were just delighted, delighted. ... They were just so excited about the whole thing.”

The Love Light program was started by the Medical Center Auxiliary, and 100 percent of donations go to Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center. In addition to providing in-home care for patients, the hospice program offers grief counseling for family members.

Last year, the program raised $112,000. So far this year, the program has raised $85,785, said Lynne Allen, director of volunteer services for the hospital.

“We hope this will encourage more groups to visit the Love Light Garden,” Allen said.