Victoria Burton

Victoria Burton, center, and friends from St. John Bosco Interparish School at Build-A-Bear workshop where they got a bear for preschooler Karly Sichmeller who was diagnosed with leukemia this month.

Submitted photo

When Victoria Burton heard about a girl in preschool at St. John Bosco Interparish School in Ahwatukee, she immediately wanted to help.

“I was really moved that she took initiative to help out her classmate,” said Burton’s mother, Celeste.

Earlier this month, 5th-grade student Burton met fellow St. John Bosco student Karley Sichmeller after visiting her at Phoenix Children’s Hospital with a little more than $100 and a Build-A-Bear.

Burton and a handful of her friends from school hosted a lemonade stand where they raised the money for Sichmeller and her family. Afterward, the group of friends decided to make 4-year-old Sichmeller, in preschool, a personal Build-A-Bear.

“We wanted to get her something that she can hold on to and keep by her side at the hospital,” said Burton. “The point was so that she knew people were praying and caring for her.”

In an effort to spread kindness, Burton said she hopes other students will understand the value in volunteering and helping others.

“If one person starts to do it, that starts a trend of people who do the same,” Burton said.

Burton and friends will host another lemonade stand on Friday, May 3 at the school from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. to raise money for Sichmeller.

An account has also been created for Karley for those willing to donate. Donations are accepted at the front office.

St. John Bosco is located at 16035 S. 48th St.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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