8th grader donates more than $1,000 of equipment to CCMC

8th grader Callie Riley donated more than $1,000 of equipment to the Obesity Center at CCMC (WFSB)

An eighth-grade student at Canton Middle School raised more than $1,000 as part of a school project.

"It had to be a project that helps the community and it changes your perspective on things,” said student Callie Riley.

She used the money to buy sports equipment for the Obesity Center at Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

"I wanted to do something with the hospital, so this is what I ended up with,” she said.

On Tuesday, she dropped off her donation.

The team at the Obesity Center educates families about the benefits of eating healthy and an active lifestyle, with an emphasis on setting realistic goals.

"One of the challenges we know for our kids is that not everyone has access to a gym, not everyone has access to a backyard, and not everyone has a safe place to play. So, we're always looking for ways for families to be active together in their homes, so this is going to help us a whole lot,” said Dr. Melissa Santos, clinical director at the Obesity Center.

She said they see more than 200 children per year at the center and receive hundreds of referrals.

"We know that obesity is probably one of the biggest public health concerns in the state of Connecticut and Hartford county,” Santos said.

After Riley came up with the idea to buy the sports equipment, she spread the word about it on her dad Michael’s Facebook page.

"We first set a goal of $500 and then we reached out that in three days and then we increased the goal,” Callie Riley said.

"I didn't expect it to hit $1,000 so quickly, I did expect we'd raise quite a bit of money because everyone in our community is good at supporting these kinds of efforts for our kids,” said Michael Riley.

In the end, she raised more than $1,000, and she dropped off her donations on Tuesday.

Santos said the donation will go a long way.

"It's amazing what she was able to do. I don't think every eighth grader thinks to help people in this way, so I think it says a lot about her that she was able to do this,” Santos said.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.