When Jude Chrestman started the second grade at ACE Charter School in Cottage Grove, he was given a list of character traits and asked to choose one.
It’s part of the curriculum at ACE, a hybrid of charter and home schooling, that asks students to focus on one character trait per year and build a project around their chosen trait.
Jude chose generosity and spent the year learning about the aspects of the trait — and collecting cans.
“He decided to collect cans and then donate them to an orphanage we already support,” his mother, Tara Chrestman said. The orphanage, Send Hope, is located in India, was founded in 1989 and has 20 locations around India, helping children affected by HIV/AIDS. Send Hope provides medication as well as education, working to increase literacy.
On Friday, June 15, Jude gave a presentation to his class about generosity and revealed he had raised $253.60.
“He did go out and collect the cans,” Tara said, noting that the family lived near the lake and ventured out to collect cans. “Or, he’d say, ‘Stop the car, I see a can!’ and we’d pull over on the side of the road,” she said. Jude also solicited can donations from family, friends and his moth-er’s co-workers. When he was done, he packed his cans up, processed them at the bottle drop in Springfield and wrote a thank you note to every person who had donated cans to his cause.
“He didn’t expect anything in return,” his mother said. “He gave freely and that’s how he showed his generosity.”