Ahwatukee Foothills Montessori owner Meagan McClung and her students place toys to be donated under their Christmas tree. The toys were able to be bought through the school's "love light" banks.


Each year, Ahwatukee Foothills Montessori hosts its annual “love light” banks where students are encouraged to bring in their spare change throughout the year to be donated in the bank.

The money raised goes towards purchasing toys for families in need during the holidays.

There are three designated “love light” banks placed in each classroom, and it’s a way for the children to realize that giving to individuals who are in need feels exponentially better than expecting something in return.

This year the school was able to raise an impressive $658.54 that went on to purchase 70 new toys.

The toys purchased from Ahwatukee Foothills Montessori are then taken to the Salvation Army in Chandler, and have been donated there for the past 18 years.

The dollar amount raised this year was also matched by the schools owner, Meagan McClung.

McClung said the “love light” bank is a way to teach students about being responsible, care for other people, and lend a helping hand.

“Our ‘love light’ bank is kind of like our heart… It’s the part of you that feels really good when you do something good for somebody else. When you give to the ‘love light’ bank, our love light inside of us gets bigger because we know that we are helping somebody else,” she said.” It’s just our way of trying to affect a little bit of that positive energy that can be put out into the world, even with children younger than 2 1/2.”

When students bring their spare change to be deposited into the “love light” bank, administrators talk to the class on what it means to give.

“We keep the language of helping and giving going all year as part of our curriculum, and part of it is if anyone has some extra change they might like to put it in our ‘love light’ bank,” McClung said. “Our goal every year is to earn enough money that we could help some children that are less fortunate to at least have something to open over the holidays.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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