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A heartfelt 'thank you'

Deanna Pauline, 9, organized a tab collection drive to benefit the Ronald McDonald House.

Deanna Pauline, 9, organized a tab collection drive to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Submitted Photo

— “I just felt really, really happy,” said Pauline. “We talked to my principal and he said we could do it so we all made posters and nicknamed it ‘Deanna’s Big Dream’ on every poster.”

Pauline’s ambition to her cause is unwavering, said DeStaso-Jones.

“She turned to me and said, ‘You know Mrs. DJ, I just want to make a difference,’ and I said, ‘You already made a difference,’” said DeStaso-Jones.

Deb Ross, director of the RMH in Albany, said Pauline’s eagerness to give back is “touching.”

“I think it’s wonderful when children take on a mission such as this to give back and how the circle of love that they receive continues to come around,” said Ross. “I think it’s really precious that she is taking such leadership and that the seeds are planted in such a young little heart.”

Ross said the RMH gets between 70 and 90 cents per pound of aluminum tabs when they’re recycled, and that helps keep the doors open.

Deanna’s Big Dream goes hand-in-hand with Saddlewood’s character education month theme of “friendship.”

Deanna’s mother, Michele, wasn’t surprised that her daughter decided she wanted to give back all on her own.

“I always knew that Deanna had something with her. She’s always been a very helpful child ever since she was just a baby, always wanting to do something or help someone,” said Michele Pauline.

Pauline might always be ready to lend a hand to others but she said nobody knows what it’s like for someone to help you in such a big way.

“When I had my brain problem, you can’t just sit there all day in a chair. My mom did because she’s always right next to me but my other family members can’t just sit there,” said Pauline. “I just want to say ‘thank you’ for having my family at their house.”

Michele Pauline also wants to say “thank you,” but to her daughter.

“She’s my angel, she’s keeping me strong. She’s my rock and she’s stronger than my entire family and myself,” said Michele Pauline.

When Pauline isn’t dreaming up tab collection projects, she likes to play with her cousins, ride her bike and scooter and play the piano and guitar.

“I’m just learning now. I’m teaching myself, really. I like music,” said Pauline.

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