The Elijah Straw Memorial Fund

The Elijah Straw Memorial Fund and the entire Straw Family were honored to present O'Hara Elementary School 5th grader Ella Horvat with the eighth Elijah Straw Helping Hand Award for her exceptional friendship, kindness towards others, overall good citizenship, and most of all, for embodying the core values ("Respect, Responsibility, Integrity") of O'Hara Elementary School. Ella received a certificate of merit, a Barnes & Noble gift card, a pizza party for her classroom, and most importantly, a chance to donate an amount equal to her gift card to a local charity of his choice.

From Ella's award letter:

When we received your nomination, we were touched by the amount of empathy you have shown others, in both your donations to Locks of Love and your shoe collection for the less fortunate in Guatemala.  By definition, empathy is the ability to see one’s self in others, or, more poetically, to put one’s self "in other people’s shoes" in order to understand their lives.  How wonderful that you are able to use your unique experience and understanding to help others in such a profound way.

Artist and writer Mary Anne Radmacher once wrote that "There is no small act of kindness. Every compassionate act makes large the world." You should be very proud of the example that you set, and we hope that your actions will further inspire you and your classmates to make lasting and meaningful positive impacts on the lives of others − in the classroom, your community, and beyond.

Ella's nominating teacher had this to say:

Ella has donated her hair to Locks of Love and she has started a shoe collection drive to collect shoes for children in Guatemala. Ella is proud of her heritage and adoption and wants to continue to help improve the lives of others in Guatemala.

Ella's parents added:

Ella's adoption experience has really shaped her spirit of compassion and goals to help children in Guatemala. She recalls when she joined our family and would not remove her shoes (three sizes too small) for several days, which gave rise to her shoe collection project. We believe that her resilience and compassion are evident as a result of her adoption experience. We see that throughout her daily life.

Awesome work, Ella! You make your parents and your community very proud!

More Photos of Ella

Please click on any image to see a larger version in a new window.

Ella holding her award with her parents Mike and Jill
Ella holding her award with her parents Mike and Jill
  Ella with parents Mike and Jill and Principal Mike Rowe
Ella with parents Mike and Jill and Principal Mike Rowe
   
Ella with parents Mike and Jill and Tom, Jen, and Natalia Straw
Ella with parents Mike and Jill and Tom, Jen, and Natalia Straw
  Ella having a well deserved snack after the award presentation
Ella having a well deserved snack after the award presentation!

Please consider donating to the Elijah Straw Memorial Fund using the link below:

You may also hand-deliver or mail donations to:

Elijah Straw Memorial Fund
PNC Bank 915
Freeport Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Make checks payable to "Elijah Straw Memorial Fund"

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