NIU VALLEY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Niu Valley sixth graders were stunned to hear why a classmate wanted to donate money to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Taryn Alves made her pitch during a speech, "My uncle Christopher went missing 27 years ago from his crib, in the middle of the night. He has not been found to this day."
The class project is called Market Day. The sixth graders at Niu Valley Middle School study different countries, make items native to that country, and then sell them in the school cafeteria.
This is the fourth year the school has done Market Day. Every year they raise about a thousand dollars and each class picks the nonprofit that will benefit from the sale.
Taryn's mother, Denise Alves was 15 years old when her brother, 7-month old Christopher, was kidnapped in 1986. The whole family was sleeping when the intruder snatched him from his crib.
"I remember my mom pushing open the door and screaming... Christopher is not here... he's not here," says Denise.
The group did an age progression picture of what Christopher would look like now, at 27 years old.
Denise was surprised that her daughter was so aware of the family's tragedy.
"She would hear us talking about it," she says. But she didn't realize how much Taryn was paying attention. She's proud that her daughter would pitch the organization that has helped the family all these years.
Taryn's classmates agreed to donate the money from Market Day to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
"I'm selling french rosemary soap," says Taryn. Each little, purple bag of french rosemary soap cost $2.
Other kids sold rain sticks from Brazil, or crafts from Europe.
The sale Tuesday brought in twice as much as past years, $2,000.
The Niu Valley Middle School will have another Market Day for the other sixth grade class on Friday.