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September 13, 2009

One girl’s inspiring generosity

By Michelle Martin


Emma Jensen is on a mission. The third-grader at St. Mary School in Buffalo Grove recently completed a school supply drive, with items directed to a West Side shelter.

Not a bad undertaking for an 8- year-old. What’s more impressive is that this is the fifth time she has put her efforts into collecting items to make others’ live easier or more enriched.

“I like doing drives,” Emma said in a telephone interview from her school. “And I like helping people.”

It started at Emma’s fourth birthday, when her parents told her she could have a party, but that she didn’t need any more toys, and suggested she collect something for people less fortunate than her, said her mother, Anne Jensen. She chose to collect books, her mother said. Since then, she has done another, larger book drive for George Rogers Clark Elementary School in Chicago, a school supply drive for the same school, a clothing drive, and this year’s school supply drive. Emma did not have a birthday party this year, but she still wanted to do the school supply drive, Jensen said, so she got her classmates involved, as well as her younger sister’s first-grade Daisy Girl Scout troop.

The girls’ mother said the credit for the drive really should go to the whole school, not just her daughters.

“I know a lot of it has to do with St. Mary’s,” she said. “It’s such a giving place. Emma knows she’s blessed.”