Linden High School juniors in the International Baccalaureate program sold socks in funky colors to raise money to buy a prosthetic leg for someone need. Pictured are Michelle Gaston, right, who led the effort, and her classmate Khadega Seedahmed.

 

By Gary Miller

One small step by Linden High School students will mean a lifetime of steps for a man halfway around the world.

LHS juniors recently completed a project in which they sold socks to raise money to buy a prosthetic leg for someone in need. The effort was spearheaded by student Michelle Gaston as part of her Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) project, a requirement for students in the International Baccalaureate program, the most challenging course of study at LHS.

“I was looking to establish something that could not only help me interact with the community but also find a way to give back to those less fortunate,” Gaston said. “This fundraiser really helped me engage with people and make them realize that something small can really go a long way.”

Gaston recently learned that the money she and her classmates raised went toward buying a prosthetic for a man named William in Uganda, who had lost his leg in a car accident. He had been unable to work or support his family, but now is back to leading a normal life.

“I am so happy and proud to have been part of such an impacting and rewarding fundraiser and I hope that this wonderful experience is only the beginning to many more,” Gaston said.

Anthony Fischetti, coordinator of the IB program, said that Gaston and the other juniors worked hard to sell enough socks.

“They are truly a socially conscious group of teenagers that are aware that giving back to the less fortunate is a cornerstone of not just the IB program, but to the mission of our district as well,” he said.

The project was completed through an organization called We Help Two, which provides socks with funky patterns to the student to sell, then uses the money raised to buy the prosthetic.

Gaston wanted to thank everyone who bought the socks and helped make a difference.

“Not only were these generous people buying a pair of socks, but they were also contributing to the wellbeing and happiness of someone in need,” she said. “I think that’s what I truly enjoyed seeing when I involved myself in this fundraiser.”

Fischetti, who took over as IB coordinator this school year, said this junior class is special to him.

“They are really my first cohort of students that will start and complete the IB program under my supervision,” he said. “They have been ambitious from the start, logging various CAS activities throughout the year, including ones organized by our LHS Alumni Association like the Thanksgiving food donation and distribution back in 2019.”