Emma Daly, a sixth grade student at , is a champion in every sense of the word.
“She is committed to excellence in everything she does and yet expects no accolades to follow. For that reason alone, I admire her personal dedication to making the world a better place,” said advisor to NMS’s Community Service Club and sixth grade English teacher Kendra Hart, who nominated Emma as a Norton Patch Whiz Kid of the Week.
Emma was one of three NMS students to be presented with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum’s Make A Difference Award. According to the museum's website, 100 Massachusetts students received the award, which is given to students who are nominated by teachers, principals, and other community leaders for contributions they have made to their neighborhood, town or community.
Emma was recognized for her work with school’s Community Service Club. Emma’s impact to help others has been very far-reaching, however.
With the NMS Community Service Club, Emma has helped to collect over 400 cans of food for the Cupboard of Kindness and collected items for ’s Thanksgiving Food Drive. She also participated in the club’s Pennies for Patients, which benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“We hung posters to try to get everyone in school to contribute as much as they could. Every penny counts,” Emma said. “The homeroom that raised the most won an Olive Garden pasta lunch!”
Together with the club, Emma worked to collect glasses for the New Eyes for the Needy program. The group also collected canes, crutches and walkers for those in need. During the cold season, Emma and other club members filled backpacks with items such as gloves, scarves, hats, tissues, socks, lip balms, deodorant, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss and other helpful self-care items. Each backpack also had a sweatshirt included to help keep its recipient warm in the cold.
“The club worked on collecting, sorting, and bagging over 250 coats for Coats for Kids Foundation,” said Hart in her recommendation letter.
As part of the NMS Community Service Club, its members also work on tasks to help within the school, such as cleaning around the campus prior to the start of the school day.
“I get this great feeling to know that I’m helping someone or an organization that helps others,” Emma said.
Emma has extended her charity work to outside the club as well. She has donated her hair twice; once to Locks of Love, which is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis, and once to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths. This program encourages women and men to grow, cut, and donate their hair to make real hair wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. Emma said that hospitals and organizations involved with bringing awareness to cancer and working on cancer cures are among her favorites to support.
Starting with her 6th birthday, Emma has chosen various benefactors to collect for rather than receiving gifts. One of Emma’s favorite organizations, Norton’s Cupboard of Kindness, has often received food donations because of this.
“One year, she collected hats and mittens for needy families,” said Judith Daly, Emma's mother. “Another year, new children’s books which she donated to Morton Hospital.”
In the fifth grade at Yelle Elementary, Emma rallied her friends to work on special projects as well. Under her leadership, they made friendship bracelets following the earthquakes in Haiti, and then sold the bracelets at school during lunches. This group also organized a pay-to-participate Pajama Day at the school.
“With the bracelet project and Pajama Day, we raised $1,400 for the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund,” Emma said.
Emma's sixth grade Social Studies class also raised money for buying goats for people in Africa. Emma and her friends again made and sold bracelets in support of this effort too.
“One goat can help an entire community by providing milk. This milk can both be food and also can be sold to provide money for other needs,” Emma said.
Emma still showed she is a typical kid who likes to have fun as she said her least favorite activity is homework. But as she noted, “It all pays off.” Emma is interested in becoming a lawyer and advancing to become a Justice on the Supreme Court or one of the high courts. Her favorite subject in school is English.
Emma has made highest honors (all A’s) in her advanced classes all three terms at the middle school.
Emma also enjoys playing the piano.
“I have been playing since I was in third grade,” she said. “It’s really fun!” She has participated in two productions with Norton Youth Theater.
Somehow Emma also finds time to play softball and tennis.
Emma’s parents, Patrick and Judith, are proud of her accomplishments and efforts. Her younger siblings, Caroline and Nathan look up to Emma and use her as an example as they, too, have desires to do helpful things that will benefit others.
When asked who her role model is, Emma answered, “I like it when a famous person gives back a lot of money for helpful organizations.” In fact, anyone who really gives back to their community is a role model to her.
Emma shared that she has peanut allergies. “I would like to see an organization that helps scientists and doctors find a cure for peanut and other allergies,” Emma said.
To help Emma and other kids with food allergies and share in her enthusiasm to help others, you may donate to www.kidswithfoodallergies.org. This site also offers helpful information to families who struggle with food allergies.