Middle school students team up to raise thousands for Habitat for Humanity

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Two young students raised thousands of dollars to help fight homelessness.

Riley Fitzharris, 14, and Cohen McCrery, 11, both in middle school have spent months organizing their Sports Challenge fundraiser. Through the challenge, they encouraged people to shoot and score to help out their community.

“It got people active. And since it was summertime, we decided it would be the best option,” said McCrery.

It happened at Concordia Theological Seminary Sunday afternoon. The boys, who attend Oak Farm Montessori School, first decided they wanted to do something to help reduce or prevent homelessness. They looked into other organizations to raise money for but in the end, decided to help an organization here in the Fort.

“We kind of want to stick to the community since this is our first kind of fundraiser and so we chose Habitat for Humanity because they were more local in our area, especially the Greater Fort Wayne,” McCrery said.

At first, they were unsure if they could meet their original mark of raising $6,000. However, after spending weeks handing out fliers to businesses and following those up with phone calls, McCrery and Fitzharris met their goal before the day event started.

“It feels pretty good,” said Fitzharris.

“It feels relieving now, because from to this point when you didn’t have the amount it was nerve-racking because you wanted to help as much as you could,” added McCrery.

Michael Kuhn, Family and Brand Manager for Habitat for Humanity said their organization was extremely impressed because it was the young boys who steered the ship for this fundraiser.

“We really have had very little to do with it, kind of showed up today and support but everything else has been all them,” said Kuhn. “It is genuinely and truly inspiring to us to see such initiative and drive in such young students who see a need that’s out there and did their research and reached out to an organization that they felt compelled to help. And then to take the initiative to really bring it to fruition is just incredible.”

Fitzharris and McCrery raised over $7,000 for Habitat for Humanity. That money will go to help the organization build homes next year.

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