Thurston Middle School to launch Kindness Challenge, more local businesses step up as sponsors

Students at Thurston Middle School are taking on a Kindness Challenge this year to pay it forward by doing acts of kindness or service, and in so doing are seeking business sponsors to assist in the fundraising.

Nine local business sponsors have stepped up so far including Stu News, Hobie, The Ranch, Roots the Beauty Underground, Lumberyard, gorjana, Laguna Beach Acupuncture, Team Laguna, and Anita Wang, MD.

Celine MacMillan says, “I’m going on my second year as PTA President at Thurston Middle School (6th-8th grade). I wanted Thurston PTA to have a fundraiser that aligns with Thurston’s message of kindness. I searched the web for ‘Kindness Fundraisers’ and came across the Raise Craze online fundraising platform, where students request money from family, friends, and neighbors and pay it forward by doing acts of kindness or service/volunteer work. It was perfect. It aligns with Thurston’s message of kindness and kindness never runs its course. Plus every single student can participate. I pitched the idea to Principal Jenny Salberg and the PTA board and everyone loved it. The last step was to get approval at our May PTA 2019 Association meeting and the Kindness Challenge Fundraiser received unanimous approval. This new fundraiser will replace the Epic Challenge Fundraiser.”

Thurstons Kindness Salberg

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Thurston Principal Jenny Salberg, seen here with last year’s WEB leadership team, is proud to participate in this year’s Kindness Challenge

For the past nine years, Thurston PTA’s biggest fundraiser was the Epic Challenge (raising money online and playing games in PE class). Last school year, only 30 percent of students raised money and they didn’t reach their fundraising goal. 

MacMillan says, “Epic had run its course and it was time to find a new fundraiser. I felt we needed something fresh and new that aligns with Thurston’s message of kindness.”

Raise Craze Kindness is a fundraising platform for students to request donations for their pay it forward kindness acts. Students create a personal secure custom website where they request donations from their families, neighbors, and friends to recognize their efforts in completing acts of kindness. The student can choose from a PTA selected list of kindness acts or create their own activity to promote paying it forward. 

Principal Jenny Salberg says, “Personally, I think it is amazing to align messages to our middle school students that kindness counts. With the partnering of our PTA fundraiser: Kindness Challenge, it will allow us to highlight and focus on all the kind things that our middle school students do to support one another and support our community.”

Thurstons Kindness assembly

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Courtesy of LBUSD

All students can participate in the Kindness Challenge

The Kindness Challenge will be for all 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The goal is to net $40,000 to help fund Thurston PTA expenses, which benefit students, teachers, and the school. 

“In order for Thurston PTA to reach our $40,000 goal, we need business sponsors,” says MacMillan. 

Stu News is a proud sponsor of the program. 

MacMillan says, “Thank you to the following businesses who have already become a Kindness Challenge Sponsor: Stu News, Hobie, The Ranch, Roots the Beauty Underground, Lumberyard, gorjana, Laguna Beach Acupuncture, Team Laguna, and Anita Wang, MD.”

The school is also going to tie the Kindness Challenge with Thurston’s Film Festival (all videos are of students doing acts of kindness and/or service/volunteer work), where students can create a video of their Kindness Challenge and inspire other students to pay it forward. 

This will be Thurston’s first annual Kindness Challenge event and the biggest fundraising project to support the programs sponsored by the PTA for the school year. Now they need the community to join them through corporate or family sponsorship. 

To potential sponsors, they say, “Let us promote you as you promote our students. Kind sponsors like you will help make Thurston Middle School’s Kindness Challenge a success!”

To support the project, go to for more information on sponsorship levels and benefits, sponsorship levels for monetary and in-kind donations, and prize donations for opportunity drawings for the middle school students – and to view the Kindness Challenge Raise Craze video. 

Thurston Middle School is located at 2100 Park Ave. 

For questions, contact Celine MacMillan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..