LITTLETON, Colorado — If success is measured by our positive impact, then Fox Creek Elementary School teacher Crystal Winter is certainly rich.
"She has like, that good vibe," said 6th grader Paige Schumacher.
A good vibe and a giant heart. Ten years ago, Winter started the club Kids Caring for Kids with Cancer (KCKC). Six times a year, they raise money and make gift bags for kids fighting the awful disease.
"When you go through cancer, you have a lot of hardships," Winter said. "So, sometimes the money's not there and so groceries or even gas money or just going out to dinner is always nice."
She knows firsthand. After beating breast cancer twice, she wanted to do something for the younger cancer patients. That's when she decided to turn school work into heart work.
"They come to our meetings and they give and they make and they create and color from their heart and they never get to see the patients," Winter said.
Patients like Haven Anderson, who was just 2 years old when she received a KCKC gift bag.
"Those hospital stays are lonely, they can get boring, they can get sad… So all of those little comforts that you get they really mean a whole lot," said Haven's mom, Erin Anderson.
For Winter, this is her last KCKC meeting. She is retiring at the end of the school year and will pass the KCKC Club torch to another group of teachers.
Forever the teacher, she's leaving students with a parting lesson that the most important work comes right from the heart.
"It just makes my heart happy," she said. "I get to see kids ... give at such a young age and just hope that they carry that with them their whole lives."
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