By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — Upperclassmen at Summersville Grade School were given the opportunity to be philanthropic — even at a young age — and rose to the occasion by donating personal hygiene items to children in foster care through Christian Social Services.
“For several years I have worked with Christian Social Services to help out families during the Christmas season. This year we discussed most students entering foster care do not have basic needs so we decided to have a drive to bring in personal hygiene items for them to take with them when they are placed in foster care,” explained Assistant Principal Tori Hartman. “I think it’s important for our students to learn how to give back to the community. They seem very excited about it and pleased to bring in items.” Hartman said.
Hartman said one of Summersville’s board members, Emily Martin, was able to obtain cases of reusable shopping bags through her employer, Walgreens Distribution Center, to fill up the bags with the hygiene products.
“It’s amazing to see the community come together. It will make a huge impact on these kids. It’s pretty powerful to see kids come together for other kids,” said Keli Tate, foster care supervisor for CSS.
Ella Warner, an eighth grade student, said the experience was worthwhile.
“I think students need to give back to the community,” she said. “We were grateful to have this opportunity to help kids in need.”
Bridget Williams, a foster care parent, presented a short program to introduce the sixth through eighth grade students the battles foster care children experience.
“Entering foster care is scary, and you have no control over it,” Williams told the students. The gifts and donations given to foster care children help them feel “safe and secure and they don’t have to be embarrassed anymore” by asking for items like soap, shampoo and underwear.
“Foster care helps build strong families,” Williams concluded.