Students at Herty Primary listened rather attentively as Ashley Berry, Founder and CEO of the East Texas  Cancer Alliance, rallied the students to get involved in a fun fundraiser that encourages them to fill up buckets with change to help provide for the needs of local cancer patients.

Ms. Berry asked the students where they could find change in their home like in the couch or in the car. One young student said in her mom’s purse. A lesson on stealing ensued and Ms. Berry encouraged each child to ask before they take change from their parents’ purses or pockets. One boy came up after the presentation and told Ms. Berry he was bringing his whole life’s savings.

Ms. Berry has a passion for helping others with cancer because she knows firsthand what. a struggle that can be.

“I had breast cancer 10 years ago in September,” she said. “I know what it’s like. I want to give back the support like what I received.”

Sometimes the support is in the form of connecting patients with resources and sometimes it’s financial in the form of gas cards, rent or utilities. Currently she helps support 315 patients and their families. Ms. Berry also has a resale store called Just Kiddin’ Around where donations are accepted and resold to the public to profit the alliance.

“All money raised in Angelina County stays in Angelina County,” she said.

The students will compete to see which class raises the most money. One class from each grade will have a pizza party—a healthy competition to help our local cancer patients regain their health.