Guadelupe Packer has collected more than $5

A lesson in philanthropy

Surrey eight-year-old raises more than $5,000 for school supplies for Royal Heights Elementary.

A parental lesson to a daughter about the benefits of being frugal has resulted in $5,000 worth of school supplies being donated to a North Surrey elementary school.

In 2009, eight-year-old Guadelupe Packer started collecting bottles for her video game fund. It turned into quite the enterprising operation for the youngster. She was raising $60 per month.

That’s when Guadelupe’s parents – Cindy and Mike – sat her down to talk finances.

“We said this is how we model our finances: We give a little bit to charity, and we put a little bit away for savings, and then we can go spend the rest,” recalls Cindy.

Guadelupe mapped out her financial plan – 25 per cent for savings and 25 per cent for charity; the rest would be carte blanche.

To fulfill the charity portion of her goals, Guadelupe canvassed her friends and family via email asking for donations of school supplies. The Guadelupe School Foundation was created the summer before the 2009-10 school year.

When September came, she was able to present her school, Royal Heights Elementary, with more than $1,200 worth of school supplies – from backpacks to glue sticks.

That got the ball rolling for more fundraising efforts. Since 2009, Guadelupe has collected bottles from dance studios, gyms and individual households.

In total, about $5,000 has been raised for the Guadelupe School Foundation.

On the last day of school this past June, Guadelupe was presented with an “Awesome Kid Award” during an assembly at Royal Heights.

“Well, I was quite amazed that they gave me an award, and I was surprised,” she says shyly.

She adds it’s become quite a challenge storing her bottles.

“In my dad’s garage, the bottles take up the whole garage,” she says.

The teachers at Royal Heights are also included in Guadelupe’s charity work.

Backpacks full of goodies and supplies await the teachers at the beginning of this school year.

“Teachers don’t really look forward to going back to school, and they might be nervous, and they might want a treat to make them feel good after a bad day instead of a drink of wine or beer,” reasons Guadelupe.

As for what she purchased with her own money?

“I got a locket with a picture of me and my brother in it for my mom for Mother’s Day,” she says.

The Guadelupe School Foundation is currently accepting donations of school supplies and/or bottles for the upcoming school year.

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