Alexa Biederman and Richie Tauriello have a mission.
After a Feb. 3 fire on Fisher Drive, the two first graders worried about the neighborhood family displaced by it.
“My sister told there was a fire over by our street and I had an idea to make a poster for them,” Richie said. “I had an idea to make a poster for them. We wrote on it, we decorated it and we collected money.”
“When we came home from school, we came up with the idea that we should save some money for them,” Alexa said.
Their collection began the Friday of the fire, when Richie and Alexa created a poster and made their collection bin. They’ve been fundraising after school since then, visiting neighbors, friends and encouraging the kids they see in the neighborhood to donate too. Marissa Tauriello, Richie's sister, who is in kindergarten, also joined them in their effort.
They’ve gotten donations from their parents’ coworkers, and collected money at Super Bowl parties during the weekend, including getting attendees to donate money won during Super Bowl pools.
“Honestly, I was afraid she was going to be worried that she thought there would be a fire at our house,” Jennifer Biederman, Alexa’s mother, said. “I was very impressed that they had this idea.”
It’s raised about $180 so far, and neither Alexa nor Richie intend on stopping soon—the goal, they said is to fill the container by the time the family moves back to their home.
“We have a lot of dollars,” Richie said. “More than coins.”
“I gave my Tooth Fairy money,” Alexa said, smiling and showing her missing front teeth. “This was more important.”
A snow globe collector, Alexa has been saving to buy another for her collection when the Biedermans travel to Disney World.
The first graders have been hiding the poster they made, as they try to keep their efforts a secret from the family. The goal is to surprise them, they said.
For their parents, the announcement about the plans was both unexpected and welcome.
“It’s nice that they’re able to work together on this, as friends,” Biederman, said. “I was more concerned that they’d be nervous about it.”
“It was very, very impressive to see their concern that they would not have clothes or food or toys,” Claudia Tauriello, Richie’s mother, said. “I think they realize what they have and what the family is going to need.”
Giving back is something both families tried to instill in their children, so, it as mo
“We’ve always told he this is what we have, and what others don’t have,” Biederman said.
“She appreciates that there are others who are less fortunate and that it’s important to help others,” Mark Biederman, Alexa’s father, said.