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Phoenix student raises money to purchase toys for foster care families

James Hartnett (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hartnett)

PHOENIX — In honor of National Foster Care Awareness Month, one Phoenix student has been working to raise money to purchase toys for children in foster care families.

 (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hartnett)

James making dog toys. (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Hartnett)

James Hartnett, 13, said he has a personal connection with the issue because he is adopted as well.

Hartnett decided to use his school service project, the Arrupe Project, to benefit Phoenix-area foster children.

In order to raise money, the St. Francis Xavier student said he performed a myriad of chores.

“I fed the dogs, I watched my animals, I made dinner, vacuumed the floor, folded some laundry and I helped with the dishes,” he said.

Then, he took the money from performing chores to buy materials for handmade dog toys.

“I bought rope and tennis ball(s) and with that I made dog toys,” he said. “I made 35 dog toys, sold them for $2 each. And I made $70.”

After, he took the money made from making dog toys to buy some human toys, such as, “Nerf balls, horseshoe games, basketballs, twister board games, UNO (and) Frisbees.”

The 13-year-old student said he has one really good reason for doing so:  “I really like to help people.”

Harnett said chose to give the toys to foster children because, well, he’s been there.

“I wanted to make them happy, I wanted to put a smile on their face,” he said.

But most of all, Harnett said he wanted the kids to be able to bond together with their new families.

“To have fun and to be a kid because kids need to have fun,” he said.

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