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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Feb 12, 2020

Middletown Elementary School Students Get Crafty for a Cause

By Shanna O'Mara

From left: Emma Merces, Lilah Nicosia, Jaimee Skidmore, Marlowe Schorr, Max Schorr and Mia Collins

Marlowe Schorr, a fifth grader at Nut Swamp Elementary School, has already spent half her life working to donate to causes close to her heart.

“My daughter has been raising money at the holidays by selling her crafts for the past five years, starting in first grade and donating her earnings to the Monmouth County SPCA every year since,” Marlowe’s mother, Cybele Schorr, said. “When she was in first grade, she donated $18 and got a sweet little certificate. Last year, in fourth grade, she donated over $100 and paid for the adoption fees of a cat that she fell in love with and wanted to help find a home.”

Marlowe Schorr

This year, wanting to spread more good fortune, Marlowe asked a few friends to work with her. She, her brother and three other Nut Swamp fifth graders joined forces to sell homemade crafts and donate a sizeable amount to the MCSPCA.

Marlowe, brother Max, and friends Mia Collins, Emma Merces and Lilah Nicosia each made homemade items – including custom jewelry, keychains, wind chimes, dream catchers and soy candles – to sell to friends, family and other local customers.

With help from their younger siblings – 8-year-old Avery Nicosia, 8-year-old Casey Merces, 7-year-old Alexa Collins and 4-year-old Tessa Collins – they even held a bake sale at their Holiday Fundraising Shop to raise more money.

On Jan. 11, the group went to the Monmouth County SPCA and presented a check to the staff, donating $1,248 to the shelter.

“This money will go into a general fund to help animals of all kinds,” MCSPCA Development and Events Coordinator Jaimee Skidmore said. “We have dogs, cats, guinea pigs. Sometimes we even get wildlife in here. We’ve had a tarantula, a snake, even a peacock. This money will go toward their care, food and medical expenses, so hopefully they will be adopted.”

Max and Marlowe Schorr sell items at their Holiday Fundraising Shop

Danielle Collins said of her daughters and their friends, “These girls really did all the legwork. We helped it come to fruition, but it was their brain child. They were the ones up at 6 am making bracelets and getting together to bake. They’re all so full of enthusiasm, initiative and love.”

Lilah added, “We would have playdates and just starting making rings. We did orders for people and did the colors they wanted or put their names on things.”

The group also collected $532 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through their efforts.

The students hope their work will inspire other school groups to use their talents for good and other friends to work together toward a common goal.

“You can start little,” Marlowe said. “I raised $18 my first year, but now we raised $1,000. Work hard and follow your heart.”

To donate to the students’ causes, visit or