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Weston Students Donate Art Supplies To California

WESTON, Conn. – When Lyn Milliman asked her daughter’s class at Weston’s Hurlbutt Elementary School for help with donations for an underprivileged school in California, she never imagined such a tremendous response.

“I was completely overwhelmed, I couldn’t believe it,” Milliman said.

Milliman had asked her daughter’s kindergarten teacher, Erin Merrifeld, to help gather up a few art supplies for her sister, Amy Jones, a teacher at Manzanita Elementary School in Oakland. Instead of grabbing a few items, the entire kindergarten class at Hurlbutt and their families ended up donating hundreds of brand new art supply items for Manzanita.

“You know, my sister and I were talking and she mentioned to me that she needed some art supplies for the kids. So, I put the word out and thought it would be a fun little thing to do for the kids and for my sister,” Milliman said.

Two weeks after the donation project was announced, Milliman said she received hundreds of art supplies from the Hurlbutt Kind Kinders program, a service program for all kindergarteners. “This is just wonderful,” she said.

Milliman said she received everything from crayons, markets, puffy paint, pipe cleaners, fingerpaints and construction paper. “We really have everything my sister can use, it’s great,” she said.

The Oakland school budget, Milliman said, is slim and teachers tend to scrape by, many times relying on help from the public. “Her school is just really, really poor and I know that they can really use it,” Milliman said.

Many of the students at Manzanita are also struggling outside of the classroom. “This area is extremely tough, these kids have really seen everything," Millman said. "Many children come from backgrounds that have exposed them to drug use, prostitution, gangs and homelessness.

“I think that is part of what makes this important, it’s going to kids who really need these things and who really will put them to good use."

Although her sister knows a shipment of donations is coming, she has no idea exactly how much. “I can’t wait to hear her reaction; she is going to be so surprised," Millman said.

It’s not just the students out in Oakland who are receiving a nice gift, the students Hurlbutt are as well. "This was a great way for the younger kids to get together and learn about doing something good," she said.

Do you know of someone who is doing great things for the community? We want to know, please contact reporter Erin Lynch at

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