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Sachem girl helps students in need

Molly McHenry, a third-grader at Lynwood Avenue Elementary

Molly McHenry, a third-grader at Lynwood Avenue Elementary School in Farmingville, spearheaded a penny drive to help purchase new backpacks and school supplies for students in need. Credit: Sachem Central School District

A third-grader at a Farmingville school recently spearheaded a fundraising campaign that purchased two dozen backpacks filled with school supplies for students in need.

Molly McHenry, who attends Lynwood Avenue Elementary School, coordinated a penny drive in which she stationed collection boxes in about half-a-dozen local businesses, as well as at her school. She ultimately raised $525, which she and her mother, Jillian, used to buy the backpacks and supplies, ranging from binders to folders to pencils.

Molly, 8, got the idea while working on a reading comprehension assignment  in the spring about a boy who had coordinated a penny drive fundraiser of his own.

"She turned to me and said, 'I want to do that,' " Jillian said. Of Molly's reaction to the amount of school supplies she was able to procure, Jillian said: "She couldn’t believe it. She was just beyond excited."

Lynwood Avenue's social worker, Cathy Rafferty, provided the McHenry family with a list of school supplies that would be useful to students, Jillian said. The family also created a Facebook page to help spread the world about Molly's efforts and a PayPal page to help collect additional donations.

Molly is also a member of Girl Scout Troop 1469, studies dance at Fusion Dance Force in Holbrook and participates in an after-school swim club through the Sachem Central School District. 

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