ALBANY, Ga. -- One month it may be about heart disease, the next it might be about cancer research.
In April, it was about the animals.
Sherwood Christian Academy's elementary campus opted to dedicate its April "Reaching Out Day" to the Albany Humane Society.
As part of the community service initiative, the student body was asked to donate at least $1, or bring in a toy or food item, to benefit the cats and dogs at the shelter.
The process started with determining what the Humane Society's needs were.
"We took the student council on a field trip and they had prepared questions to ask the director," said Sharon Mattox, one of the teachers sponsoring the student council. "They got a tour of the facility and got to see the animals.
"They then did a presentation during one of the chapel days."
Collection day was on April 15, during which time more than $250 was raised as well as enough food and toy items to equal the same monetary value.
"The value (of the food and toys) exceeded what we thought we would bring in," Mattox said.
The executive director of the Albany Humane Society, Donna Strickland, seemed impressed with the dedication Sherwood's students demonstrated to help the area's most vulnerable animals.
"I have never been so astounded by children as (I have by) the group from Sherwood," she said. "They were an absolute pleasure to talk with. During our conversation their curiosity and compassion was apparent. Each of them had the most intelligent questions and all were so outgoing and willing to talk.
"I was not in the office when they delivered their donations but staff sent me a photograph and I was overwhelmed. Their hard work and generosity will provide food, a toy, a treat or just a little comfort to the unwanted, abused and lost animals in our care. The teachers and parents of these Sherwood students should be so proud of them. I was honored to be a part of their project and I know these kids have bright futures ahead of them."
This "Reaching Out Day" cycle was unique in that the students generally bring in just a monetary donation.
"We are trying to find places in the community (that are in need)," Mattox said. "We try to find causes the kids can connect to.
"The kids were so excited (during the April cycle) because animals are so close to their hearts. We are delighted with the response; we think the kids did a great job."
The money raised allowed SCA to sponsor a kennel, which means the Humane Society will likely be the beneficiary of future community service projects the academy conducts. Diabetes research is among the other ideas for future "Reaching Out Day" campaigns, Mattox said.
"We want to serve our community," the third-grade teacher said. "That is part of our mission.
"We are excited about what we will be able to do in the future."