Feel Good

Student Donates Allowance to Help Fund New Playground for School

No one understands the importance of a good playground like a child. Perhaps that’s why fifth grader Emma Richards from Grand Island, New York, just outside of Buffalo, has contributed almost every penny of her allowance to help her old elementary school get a new playground.

Emma, like countless other children, had many of her happiest memories from kindergarten and first grade on the playground at Charlotte Sidway Elementary.


“I like the playground because it brought me lots of memories,” says Emma. “I always made new friends there.”

However, the playground is over 20 years old and in need of an upgrade. The school agrees they need a new playground. But the cost of one would be around $100,000, and there’s not exactly that much extra cash in the budget.

“Pieces are breaking. They’re very expensive to replace,” explains Sidway principal Denise Dunbar. “In order to be safe and compliant with children with disabilities, we need to have a major update.”

That’s why Emma is doing her part to make sure her younger sister and countless other kids


have a safe and modern playground to use. She’s saving her pennies and putting almost all of her allowance money from doing chores around the house toward the playground fund.

“I did the dishes, I vacuumed, I cleaned my room, I did the beds, helping mom with other stuff,” Emma explains.

In total, the 10-year old raised $68.84, nearly her entire life savings, to help the school buy a new playground. She delivered the donation to Dunbar with a note that read:


“I have chosen to give all of my donation money to you for Sidway playground because I still like playing there and I am sure all the kids will like the new playground, too.”

Dunbar says she and the teachers at the school were “deeply touched” by Emma’s gesture.

In addition to Emma’s contributions, there is a GoFundMe page helping to raise money to help Charlotte Sidway Elementary a new playground.