"It kind of caught me off guard that Nick would have the letter." she said, adding the other teachers had been discussing donating money on their own. "I certainly didn't encourage a fundraiser at that point."
Kooper's quick action made Brown realize that her students are really listening to what she teaches and that her words really do have an impact. Now she said she may take a different approach teaching by turning these events into a unit each year.
"I'm going to have to think about the lessons I'm presenting to the students," she said. "They're really listening and taking in the things you say. You never know what they'll do when they go home."
With Nick, though, not only was she happy about the letter he wrote but also how well he was able to write the letter. With a little bit of help from his father, Koopman composed the letter with proper punctuation and grammar, she said.
Once Brown brought this to Principal Lillian Turner, she said the school started acting right away to begin raising money. She added that the fundraiser fits in with that the school is all about.
"It is sort of what our mission is at Henry Johnson," she said. "We are a community and we always encourage to help out each other and to respect other communities. When we work together we make things happen to help others recover from devastating situations."
Koopman said it was his first time ever getting involved with fundraising but he said he wouldn't mind getting involved with more volunteer work. And after getting such a good response from the American Red Cross, he was happy to do what he could to help.
"I feel proud for doing it."