When Melody Quengu found out that her school was going to be having a drive for the Red Cross, benefiting the victims of Hurricane Sandy, the fourth grader decided to make the ultimate sacrifice a kid could make: she rounded up all of the money she had been saving from her chores, good report card rewards and birthday money, and donated the entire amount, totaling $83.
"I was saving up for new DS games because I only have two for my special DS," Quengu said.
The donation drive had struck a chord with Quengu on a personal level because she has family in New Jersey that were affected by the hurricane.
"My grandfather, grandmother, cousin, two aunts and two uncles live there," she said. "I did it because I wanted to help my family and the other people with the money."
Quengu's teacher, Laura Baron, wasn't surprised that her pupil wanted to be so generous.
"She's an all-around good student, a sweetheart," Baron said.
Cheri Sacco, principal of Stadium School, was thrilled with Quengu's generosity, but checked in with her dad to make sure that he was aware that Melody was donating her savings.
"He said he was fine with it and that if this was what she wanted to do, she had earned the money, and that this was just the kind of kid she is," said Sacco.
When the notice went home for the drive, Sacco wasn't sure what to expect in terms of donations.
"The Red Cross drive came on the heels of our Thanksgiving Food Drive, and just before the Christmas Toy Drive, and the parents here are stretched enough as it is, but the kids really wanted to do this drive,” she said.
She never expected to have one of her students give so much of her own savings, however.
Quengu said that everyone at home is very excited and happy, and proud of her donation.
"My dad won't stop talking about it," she said.
Quengu said the friends at Stadium who knew of her generosity were all "very excited and happy for me."
Now that the drive is over, Quengu said she knows exactly what she's going to do next: she will start saving her money all over again.