Members of Club Character at Oakville Elementary School embrace spirit of giving

Members of Club Character at Oakville Elementary School have embraced the spirit of giving — and not only because of the holiday season.

These Mehlville School District pupils recently completed a service project of selling peace bracelets and necklaces to their peers to raise $311 for the construction of the Fisher House at the Jefferson Barracks Veterans Affairs Medical Center, according to a district news release.

The Oakvile Elementary pupils recently presented the donation to Col. James Donahoe, president of Fisher House in St. Louis.

“The students were very excited about selling the peace necklaces and bracelets because they thought it was a great way to raise money,” Lori Kemling, club co-sponsor and Special School District resource teacher, stated in the release. “The students liked to be in charge of selling the items, and it allowed them to be more engaged than just collecting money.”

The pupils’ donation to the Fisher House will help provide free lodging for the families of veterans who are receiving treatment at the VA Medical Center.

Construction on the Fisher House began in July, and the house is scheduled to be completed in late summer or early fall.

“There are few other donations that will help so many veterans for such a long time,” Donahoe told the Oakville pupils. “In the next decade, the Fisher House will provide 73,000 nights of free lodging. That’s what you all are a part of.”

Once completed, the Fisher House in St. Louis will join the 43 Fisher Houses currently serving veterans and their families throughout the country.

The house will accommodate up to 40 guests, providing convenient lodging for veterans’ families at no charge.

For more information about the Fisher House in St. Louis or to make a donation, visit