One coin at a time, a pair of White Salmon 10-year-olds strive to make a difference in COVID time.
Mataya Wang and Jayden Stanton spent part of a day recently in a unique fundraiser for finding a virus cure.
Elizabeth Vaivoda of Skyline Health Foundation said she received a call from a girl indicating “she would like to donate to help find a cure for COVID-19.”
The youngsters made a sign that said “One honk = 25 Cents. To help find a cure for COVID-19. Stay healthy.” They stood by the side of the street and every time someone honked they put 25 cents of their own money into an envelope.
“Me and Jayden just kind of thought of it,” said Mataya. ”We were putting up signs and holding papers, and first said ‘One honk for respect,’ and then I thought of second sign that said, ‘One honk equals 25 cents.’”
“It was fun to hold the sign,” said Jayden, who saw a video from another community of people who did a “one honk = a tree planted.”
Mataya said, “We were just trying to have fun and we thought we would get more honks out of it. We get a lot but we didn’t tally the number” responding to the “respect” sign.
“Some people just waved and we were like ‘What?’ But I think it will help because maybe people saw us and then they’ll probably want to donate,” she said.
“It felt really nice to help out because of the pandemic everyone is staying home to try to stop COVID,” she said.
The two Henkel Middle School fourth-graders put their own money into the envelope, and with the help of some passerby donations, delivered $6 to Vaivoda.
“It makes me feel good,” Mataya said. “If we gave them (Skyline) money they could find a way and give the money to someone and they can go give it to someone.”
“I think it’s a problem because if it (COVID-19) has gone really bad in this country. We can stop going to school but it didn’t get very bad in this particular city or county,” she said.
Jayden explained that he held the notebook keeping tally while Mataya dropped a quarter into the can with each sound from a car.
“Two people came up and wanted to gave us money but we said, ‘Keep it, we’re going to pay,’ so we paid $4 and they gave us $2,” Mataya said.
“It came from their hearts,” Vaivoda said.
Jayden delivered the envelope full of quarters to Vaivoda. “That’s because we couldn’t both ride in the car,” said Jayden.
Vaivoda said the foundation is thinking about asking others give to this cause. All funds would be sent to an entity that is actually trying to find a vaccine.
“It was definitely a good idea. It’s a small amount of money but for kids to even think of doing that is a big thing,” said Mataya’s father, Mike.
Jayden also did a lemonade and bake sale last summer at the Kiteboard4Cancer event and raised over $200.
“At that time his best friend was battling leukemia at Doernbecher’s,” said his mother, Laurie Stanton. “It really hit home for him that he has power to help, even though he is just a kid.
“I like raising money to help solve problems,” Jayden said.
As COVID restrictions continue, both youngsters said they miss school and favorite activities.
Mataya said, “I miss seeing my friends and seeing my cousins and stuff, because that’s kind of fun.”
“I miss going camping,” Jayden said.