Julianna Tand, a fifth-grader at Old Mill Road School, has...

Julianna Tand, a fifth-grader at Old Mill Road School, has raised thousands of dollars to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. Credit: Michelle Grady Photography

A North Merrick student has been using her artistic skills to help improve the health and well-being of local children.

Julianna Tand, a fifth-grader at Old Mill Road School, has raised nearly $20,000 during the past few years by sculpting and selling small clay figures through her nonprofit organization, Julianna’s Works of Heart. The money raised benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Most recently, Julianna presented the charity with a check for more than $11,000, which she collected over the course of the preceding year. Those funds were raised through everything from raffling off a figure of the late actor Betty White to hosting a two-hour paint night that included guided instruction by her grandmother Debbie Viola of Massapequa Park.

“I am grateful to every single person who donated or purchased a clay piece from me because every little bit adds up,” Julianna said. “If you have a talent or idea, you should definitely go for it because you never know what you can accomplish or who you can help.”

Julianna, 10, began her charitable efforts after she made her maternal grandparents a set of clay figures depicting them on their wedding day accompanied by various family members as a gift for their 40th wedding anniversary in 2018. Her mother, Jennifer, posted photos of the figures on Facebook, leading to people starting to request pieces.

Julianna is also a member of her school’s Student Council, and she enjoys gymnastics and ice skating.

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