High school charity drive breaks records and money counting machines

Updated: Dec. 16, 2016 at 9:57 AM EST
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PARMA, OH (WOIO) - A Parma charity event earned so much money that two counting machines were broken.

The money was donated over a three-week period as part of Padua Franciscan High School's annual Christmas for Others charity drive. The money is given as a donation from students to individuals and organizations in need.

Coin Wars, a friendly competition to see which class can raise the most money for charity, is one of the more popular events during the drive.

Maria Ambrose has been saving coins since her freshmen year.

"I thought it would be cool to wait til senior year to move all those coins and use them," she said.

Coin Wars crushed records this year, raising at least $2,000.

"We raised just about $15,000 dollars in 18 minutes, just a phenomenal amount of money," said Principal David Stec.

The students brought in so much change that they not only broke records, but two coin counting machines too.

"It was so exciting to see how many people donated and cared about what we do," said Ambrose. "It was really awesome."

Coin Wars is just one of 23 events during the Christmas for Others drive. In total, students raised about $30,000, not to mention the coats, hats, gloves, blankets, toys and canned goods they've collected. Many will hand-deliver them to those in need this holiday season.

Students said the drive offers lesson much bigger than one found in a book.

"It changes everything," said Stec. "It changes what Christmas is all about. It changes how we treat others and just makes a real difference in our community."

"It teaches me to always love others," said Ambrose.  "I don't think I'll ever forget this Coin Wars."

Since 1971, the school has donated nearly half a million dollars to charity through Christmas for Others.

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