by Scout Van Cise and Hunter Trzeciak, editor-in-chief and features editor
For the past 26 years, Planet Hope, a philanthropic organization co-founded by Saegertown graduates Sharon and Kelly Stone, has been giving back to children all over the United States. The organization helps students in many ways such as providing prom dresses and sleeping bags, and funding medical and dental clinics for women and children. In addition, the group has distributed 400,000 toys to underprivileged children through Hope for the Holidays.
On May 23, Kelly Stone visited Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School with a special purpose. Through Planet Hope, Stone and her brother Patrick and his wife Tasha, and their children Hunter and Kaylee, her best friend Robin Davis, and Planet Hope employee Merrik Dragon donated and sized a pair of tennis shoes for every student who was interested. “It’s a huge thing in your life to be able to come back and do something in your hometown, and to come with people you love and your family,” K. Stone said.
Principal Tom Baker was pleased with the outcome. “We are very grateful that [the Stone sisters] are giving back to the community and school that they graduated from,” Mr. Baker said.
Planet Hope donated a total of 229 pairs of shoes to the students at Saegertown with the help of secretary Debbie Chaney. “I really truly think it was a success. The kids were happy. I just thought it was great,” Mrs. Chaney said.
Eighth grader Kyarra Reist was ecstatic about her new sneakers. “That was very nice of them,” Reist said. “There are some kids that don’t have enough money to get new shoes.”
While S. Stone was unable to attend the event, she tweeted a photo of K. Stone with the shoes prior to her visit to Saegertown High School along with a caption about Planet Hope. For more information about this organization, visit planethope.org or follow on twitter @planethope4kids.