Neidig student's efforts to help homeless recognized on U.S. House floor

Neidig student's efforts to help homeless recognized on U.S. House floor

Caleb Byelich, with his father and brothers looking on, is congratulated by Superintendent Dr. Bill Harner.

By Gary Weckselblatt

The shining example of a Neidig Elementary School student, whose inspirational efforts helped to raise more than $1,700 for a homeless shelter, has been recognized on the U.S. House floor by U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick.

In a 66-second video that can be seen here, Fitzpatrick describes second-grader Caleb Byelich as "an outstanding young citizen" who has made a "substantial impact on the underserved in our community."

"We applaud Caleb for his remarkable work, and I look forward to seeing his accomplishments in the years to come," said Fitzpatrick, who thanked Caleb's parents for "instilling in him the values of service and compassion."

Caleb, who was inspired to help others, worked to raise $50 to buy food for the Quakertown Food Pantry. After that donation, he wondered how he could help more people. With the assistance of his parents, he learned about homelessness. He also worked with his teacher, Mrs. Rivera, during the class goal-setting process. His initial goal was to raise $100 for Advocates for the Homeless of Upper Bucks, which operates the Quakertown Code Blue Shelter.

Caleb, whose outstanding effort was recognized by the School Board on January 10, came up with the idea to sell hot chocolate and baked goods to raise money. He made signs and flyers for the event, and the idea started to spread. Like all good leaders, Caleb asked his friends for their help, too. Many people were inspired by Caleb's idea, and it became a community event. Friends played musical instruments, many people donated items to sell, and it became an awesome project.

Caleb's brothers Jaiden of the Sixth Grade Center and Cameron of the high school helped out along with other neighborhood children by providing live music. Caleb's friend, Ben Gregory, also a second-grader at Neidig, made baked goods and helped at the stand and friend Justin Miller, a 9-year-old home-school student, also assisted.

Caleb far exceeded his goal as he and his family presented a $1,715 donation to the shelter.

"We are so proud of Caleb and his supportive family for raising more than $1,700 for a homeless shelter," Neidig Principal Scott Godshalk said. "He is inspiring greatness at Neidig and in our community!"

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].

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