Almost a year after Paul Hoes’ death his parents kept finding coins and bills.
Jean Hoes, Paul’s mother says, “The day Paul passed away my husband started finding money wherever he went. Sometimes it was just a penny a day. Sometimes it was a quarter, sometimes it was twenty dollars.”
This isn’t so strange because to know Paul was to know a young man devoted to helping those who couldn’t afford the bare essentials.
Susan Shefka-Peeters, Paul’s teacher says, “He was always so eloquent with his classmates explaining how even with no money that we could serve the poor.”
Paul overcame developmental challenges to become a star pupil with Green Bay’s Religious Special Education Program.
Hoes says, “Paul had disabilities but he made the best of life and he made his life have a purpose.”
Shefka-Peeters says, “Paul would always talk to me after class and say just between the two of us. I wish I had a lot of money and if I ever did, you could help me. We would give it away to the poor.”
Paul’s parents ended up finding a total of $160 dollars and gave each of his classmates $5 dollars to help the less fortunate.
Paul’s friends took that $5 dollars and grew it into something quite special.
Michelle Anderson & Monica Norton were friends of Paul and purchased grooming items. They say, “It was amazing I thought it was a wonderful gesture on Paul’s family behalf to just continue his memory and to help us reach out in a way in a difficult year.”
His friends turned that $5 dollars into this table full of donations and $5,000 dollars.
Hoes says, “It’s amazing. We just can’t believe what was done with this little bit of money.”
Although Paul has passed on, he continues to teach his classmates a life lesson that many people doing small deeds can make a big difference.
Paul’s classmates call this the Paul ‘pence’ project, pence because it was started with a small amount of money.
Organizers say the plan to continue this project next year.
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