Sparrow Club: Meet Elianna, our Sparrow for the 2017-2018 school year
Sweet Elianna was a happy and healthy baby girl. Around her first birthday, her parents started noticing that she wasn’t hitting her key milestones. At 26 months, she actually started regressing in major areas, such as speech, sitting up, and walking. When Elianna was three her family received the heartbreaking diagnosis that she had Rett Syndrome.
Rett Syndrome is a complex neurological disorder involving the X chromosome, and mostly affects girls. This disorder causes problems in brain function that is responsible for things such as moving, walking, speaking, eating, feeling, and even breathing. Rett Syndrome affects virtually every aspect of Elianna’s life. She is non-verbal, unable to walk on her own and has no functional use of her hands. She has a very specialized diet and has a 90% chance of developing a seizure disorder.
Elianna endures approximately two hours of physical therapy per day in order to keep her body from getting too stiff. She will likely need various surgeries and procedures in the future as she continues to grow.
Today, Elianna is an amazing little girl who is almost seven years old. She loves her family and has a way of connecting the hearts of everyone she meets, without even speaking a word. Sometimes the adopted Sparrows are unable to attend school due to their medical issues. But Elianna loves attending Jacksonville Elementary — and because she is a classmate, its great for the other students to get to know the person they're working to help.
Kids donate 454 service hours to help their Sparrow Elianna
Throughout the 2017-2018 school year, students worked hard to raise money fo Elianna through sponsored community service and fundraising projects.
When all the numbers were tallied at the end of the school year, the kids clocked in a whopping 454 hours of volunteer time, all on behalf of their adopted Sparrow Elianna. In order for their hours to count, the students had to complete a service voucher for each volunteer job and explain how helping their Sparrow impacted them. Here are some of this year's service hours - all performed by kids at Jacksonville Elementary to help their Sparrow.
- Yard Work - 11 hours
- Bake Sale - 10 hours
- Garden Club - 24 hours
- Highland House Visit - 12 hours
- Playground Trash Cleanup - 8 hours
- Helping at Church - 8 hours
- U-Cut Tree Farm - 10 hours
- Veterans of Foreign Wars - 11 hours
- School Chorus at Pioneer Village - 30 hours
- Classroom Help - 277 hours
A big thank you to all of the kids, teachers and staff at Jacksonville Elementary School. Their kind actions made a positive impact on their Sparrow and new friend.
Rogue Disposal & Recycling is proud to be a sponsor of the Sparrow Club — a program that is near and dear to the heart of our own Holly Roberts. “This is by far one of my all-time favorite organizations,” she says. “I attend the assemblies every year and am moved to tears by the compassion of the students. I even had the opportunity to compete in their biggest yearly fundraiser, Dancing With the Rogue Valley Stars… a top 10 highlight for me!”
To learn more, visit the Sparrow Club website.