The Power of a Juice Box
Submitted by Erin Cooper
Part way through the 2015-2016 school year, Isaiah and his CEA (Certified Education Assistant) had an idea:
What if they started collecting and counting the juice boxes that students brought to Raymer school and drank during the day? Even better, what if they collected the juice boxes and then took them in for money and donated the money to a local charity?
From these two ideas, it didn’t take long until another idea was born. What if Isaiah and his CEA had a little contest each Friday among the teachers and their students?
The teachers and their classes could guess how many juice boxes were consumed each week and the winner would win a trophy for the week. This final idea was as good as all the rest! From these ideas, wonderful things happened.
By the end of the 2016 school year, Isaiah collected, counted and sorted 500 dollars-worth of juice boxes and that money was donated to the Kelowna Gospel Mission. Isaiah was also able to present the juice box challenge trophy to many happy Raymer staff members each week.
For one week, the trophy would sit in a classroom as the bragging rights for the closest guess of juice boxes consumed. I have seen the trophy worn as a hat, made into a necklace and paraded down the hallway, by a cheering, dancing staff member every once-in-awhile.
In September of 2016, Isaiah and his CEA knew they couldn’t stop counting juice boxes and doing the juice box challenge on Fridays. Everyone looked forward to that day and the challenge eventually came with a guessing song! Isaiah also knew the money he gave to the Kelowna Gospel Mission helped those who needed it and he wanted to help some more.
In May 2017 Isaiah was approached by the people from the Kelowna Gospel Mission so they could thank him in person and do a write up for their newsletter. What started out as a small thing, for one boy with autism has turned into a rather big thing.
In the past two years, Isaiah has collected and donated just over $1350 to the Gospel Mission!
That is the power of a juice box. For a boy who was rather shy and didn’t engage much with others, Isaiah is now the Juice Box King. He interacts with his fellow students, speaks in front of class with confidence and is proud of his accomplishments
From an idea that seemed small came a big change, not only for one boy, but for many who have been served a meal at the Gospel Mission because of. Isaiah’s donations.
As for me, I am one proud mama as I get to tuck the Juice Box King into bed every night.