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Locals Raise Money To Help Orphans Thousand Of Miles Away

For most children, entering Kindergarten can be a daunting task. But for 6 year old Annie, there were even more challenges ahead.

"She was born without her right hand," said Kim Myers, mother of Annie.

But even at a young age,  her classmates have helped her to overcome adversity.

"She a couple of times would say she doesn't like it when kids ask her about it. After she was in school for just a short period of time 'Mom! you know what? I don't have to say anything!"

"We thought that was a great cause because it effects their lives and it gives them the chance to have a much better life," said Claire Wilcox, a 12th grader at Vestal High School.

Annie was adopted from China at age 3 as part of the "Half The Sky" program that helps orphan children in China find homes in America.

But Annie has adjusted well. She now attends kindergarten with the help of high-school students that take Chinese as a language and are involved in Chinese organizations.

"Annie is so much happier now and she was really shy at first, but just to see her running around and giggling is so sweet, heartwarming and rewarding. (It's great to) know that we are helping other kids get that chance," said Wilcox.

"It's such a beautiful thing for adults to see that from children, said Angela Tierno, Principal of All Saints School.Kim Myers said the help of the students is one of the main reasons why her daughter Annie is as successful as she is today.

"As a mother i know that in a transitional kindergarten the students are jumping in to helping her and protecting her." said Myers

Claire Wilcox, a student in the Chinese program plans to continue her study of Chinese as she attends Vermont this Fall, and  encourages  other students to get involved in programs like this.

"Even the smallest effort can change somebody's life," said Wilcox.

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