Over the last few months these eighth graders raised $900 and hit the Dollar Store to buy toiletry items to put together 58 new diagnosis bags. The bags will go to families who unexpectedly have to stay at Dell Children's Medical Center for cancer care.
"I think we all learned a lot about the people who have cancer and what they go through," said Ellie Yellitz, a GMS eighth grader.
"They need it a lot more than anyone else," said Jack Fishbaugh, 14. The project means a lot to Fishbaugh. "It's pretty special. Personally I had cancer when I was eight. My family they were in the same situation and focused on me. They didn't get anything like this but would have appreciated it," he said.
Dawn Dammann is the sponsor for the school's National Junior Honor Society chapter. She says the students picked the biggest project they could get their hands on.
"I just facilitate. These kids are the ones who plan and brainstorm," Dammann said.
Friday, as the students assembled the bags they got some help from the young boy who has inspired and motivated them. Rex Ryan is getting ready to celebrate his third birthday. In 2013 he was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma. Rex's dad, Casey, is an assistant principal at Gorzycki MS.
"Seeing what they are doing now and how they are in a way paying it forward on behalf of our family means so much to me as a person and as an administrator," said Ryan who has leaned on his school family during what he can only describe as a dark time.
The students presented the new diagnosis bags to Jessica Phillips who is the director of BIG Love Cancer Care.
"Thank you all so much," Phillips said as she walked around and hugged each student.
"Keep that up for as long as you live. Love people big and serve your community," said Phillips.
BIG Love supports families with children fighting the disease which took her daughter's life. Phillips has visited the Ryan family in the hospital before and even stopped in unexpectedly with toys for Rex.
"I love you," said Rex to Phillips.
"You don't get this from a book," said Dammann.
Rex is in remission thanks to his medical team and support from his Gorzycki family.
"This is the kind of thing they'll carry on in life and it's what life is about," said Ryan.
A lesson about helping others all of these students aced.
Great job by our amazing #NJHS Service Warriors for their diagnosis bags fundraiser in support of @BigLoveCancer pic.twitter.com/Hi85NbJwV7
— Gorzycki MS (@GMSTigers) March 6, 2015