McHENRY – The basement in 8-year-old Cooper Cohn’s McHenry home began to leak as the family waited out a massive storm that swept across the Midwest last month, conjuring up multiple tornadoes that devastated towns in central Illinois.
Thinking about the help his family would receive if they needed it and seeing videos of what happened to the residents of Washington, Ill., Cooper told his parents that he wanted to raise money or donate food for the tornado victims.
“I know the people in the town of Washington, the tornado victims, were in danger, and we wouldn’t want them to feel left out,” Cooper said. “Their houses are all gone, and they don’t have a place to live or to [the ability] do certain things. Their life is almost over if we don’t help them.”
The Valley View Elementary third-grader started a fundraiser at his school – where his mother, Amanda Cohn, is also the principal – collecting nearly $615 in spare coins and cash over five days in cans placed throughout the school, said Kristie Glenn, a school secretary.
The money will be donated to the American Red Cross for the Washington tornado victims, she said.
Valley View Elementary School holds several fundraisers throughout the year, including participating in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Glenn said.
“It taught me that kids can try and make a difference,” Cooper said. “It taught me to be a better person and know that people have hard lives and you should help people.”