KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore. — For the first time, Brixner Junior High School in Klamath County has formed a Sparrow Club and adopted a child in medical need to raise financial contributions — as well as providing much-needed emotional support.
The school started its Sparrow Club in January, and recently students got to meet their very own Sparrow, 8-year-old Caiden Zimmermann of Klamath Falls.
"Brixner Junior High School students are doing yard work, picking up trash, and helping at the local food bank and other organizations," the Klamath County School District said in a statement. "Every hour they contribute to their community, they raise money to help 8-year-old Caiden."
Caiden is a second-grader at Conger Elementary School and lives with a form of muscular dystrophy that causes his muscles to break down and become weaker over time. He has to wear braces on his legs and feet, usually using a scooter to get around. KCSD said that the disability doesn't stop him from being involved in sports, building Legos, and playing video games.
Students at Brixner organized a week-long coin drive, raising $862 for the Zimmermanns' medical expenses. Caiden and his parents received a large check at a celebration assembly at the school last week.
“I think having Caiden as our sparrow gives us more motivation,” said Kaitlynn Anderson, an eighth-grader involved in student leadership. “We have the satisfaction of doing it for someone else.”
Sparrow Clubs national program director Matt Sampson was on hand in January when Brixner students first welcomed Caiden. Sampson went to Brixner himself from '87 to '89, and was happy to help the school launch its first Sparrow Club.
"I am so incredibly proud of these amazing students and the commitment they made today to step into Caiden’s journey . . . and make a difference in his life," said Sampson in a Facebook post.