Friday, November 15, 2019

Eight-year-old Odyssey Angels on the move to raise funds and make a difference

Windham Odyssey Angels, from left to right: Aislin McDonald, 
Harlie Menard, Aubrey Galipeau, Garrett Chandler, Chad Cleaves, 
Lily Cooper, Carrie Menard, Zack Welch, Max Robinson, Madison Daigle.
By Lorraine Glowczak

There is a new group in town that recognizes a recent community problem and is taking action to create change. Known as the Windham Odyssey Angels, this organization consists of seven eight-year olds from Windham Primary School. They are teaming up with the Windham PTA and Raymond PTO to not only help raise awareness about adding stop arms to school buses but are determined to help raise the funds too.
Windham Odyssey Angels became an official organization at their first meeting a little over a week ago on Monday, November 4th and they are taking immediate action. In fact, this past Monday, November 11th you may have seen these young students as they hit the ground with their first fundraising launch by going business to business, requesting donations to help purchase 15 extended stop arms for the RSU14 buses. This motivated group of angels began their day at 11 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m., stopping for a bite to eat at Pat’s Pizza.

There is a reason for their enthusiasm. “Right now, the stop signs on the buses only stick out about
two feet,” explained one Windham Odyssey Angel, Harlie Menard, “The stop signs we are trying to raise money for will come out six feet which will make it harder for cars to pass the bus.”

As stated in an article in last week’s edition of The Windham Eagle, children’s safety has become an issue in the Windham and Raymond communities as students wait at the end of their driveways and roadways to enter the buses that take them to school. In recent weeks, parents have recorded on their cell phones and shared on social media – the many drivers who have sped past a stopped school bus. bus, with its blinking lights and stop sign extended, is indicating the driver to stop so young students can cross the road safely and enter the bus. Unfortunately, many drivers have not stopped, as required by law – putting our children’s well-being at risk. 

Windham Odyssey Angel member, Aislin McDonald was one such student. “One morning when the bus came to pick me up, three cars zoomed past before I could get on,” she stated. “If I was younger, I may not have known better and would have walked out in front of the cars – or my brother would have had to grab me and pull me back to keep me safe.”

It is for Aislin’s safety as well as for the safety of all other students in the community that inspire this new group. But what exactly are Odyssey Angels? It is an international program that challenges students to use unique creative problem-solving techniques while at the same time helping some aspect of their community that would otherwise be overlooked.

According to the Odyssey Angels website, anyone can participate in the program. “The only limitation is that one person in the Odyssey Angel group is on an Odyssey of the Mind team. The group can be of any size and made up of any individuals with no age limitations. It can be a family, a class, a team, a group of friends – anyone who wants to help their community.”

The website also states that participating in an Odyssey Angel group gives students a chance to utilize their strengths and help others while learning important lessons in teamwork, compassion, and more.’s first fundraising effort was met with success. “After going out ALL day today, the students were able to raise $5,000 for their first time out in their community,” stated Carrie Menard, a parent and one of the sponsors of Windham Odyssey Angels. “This is huge for a group of eight-year olds!”

The group explained that anyone can make any type of donation and it doesn’t necessarily need to be monetary as projects, goods and services can also be contributed. “We will also take objects like
crafts and then raffle them to help make money too,” explained Windham Odyssey Angel, Aubrey Galipeau.

Although the Windham Odyssey Angels are focused on serving their community, making it a safer place to live, there is a possibility that their project could be entered into a competition for creative problem solving. As the national website states, “Odyssey Angel teams will explain their charity project and results. Then one will be chosen that is considers to be not only creative, but beneficial to the community. Up to five representatives of that group will be invited to World Finals as special guests and be able to present its experiences at the Creativity Festival.”

It is a part of their mission that every person in their community become an angel with them. “This is very exciting for the kids,” stated Carrie Menard. “These kids are amazing and want to make a difference in our community. I could not be more proud of them.”

“We want everyone to join us to be an angel; not just us,” Galipeau said.

For more information or to make a donation to the Windham Odyssey Angels, contact the group at

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