Clearwater students volunteer to make a difference for others

The Clearwater High School Student Council collected 250 socks, hats and gloves to donate to Humankind Ministries homeless shelter in Wichita.

By Michelle Leidy-Franklin

CLEARWATER – Students of all ages are making a difference in Clearwater.
Each school in USD 264 created a project to help benefit people in need. The Clearwater High School student council chose to collect socks, hats and gloves to donate to HumanKind Ministries.
“When I was younger, other people helped my family when we weren’t doing so well and Iwanted to help others who may not have the money to buy warm things,” said Tegan Zimmerman, a junior at CHS.
Zimmerman came up with the idea after seeing a project for the homeless on Pinterest. A quick search online for homeless shelters and she found Humankind Ministries in Wichita. The organization confirmed for the Clearwater students that it never has enough of the proposed items and is in desperate need of them each winter.
The student council collected 260 socks, hats and gloves during the “Socktober” event and donated them to the homeless shelter.
“It was amazing to see the turnout from everyone putting others first,” said Zimmerman.
The Clearwater Intermediate-Middle School Kansas Association of Youth (KAY) Club took donations of coats and cold-weather items from the community for the Orphan Grain Train. The organization is a nonprofit Christian volunteer network that shares personal and material resources with needy people in America and around the world.
The items collected by the KAY Club will be sent to women in the Ukraine where the average winter temperature stays below freezing.
Two seventh grade students, Daphne Bullard, and Emma McNelly, approached the club with the idea for the drive. Bullard said she felt good about the project because there were so many large bags of coats donated.
“I was blown away by the amount of coats donated by Clearwater family,” Bullard said.
Community members and students chipped in, donating enough coats and items to fill 32 boxes. There were also several bags of blankets and warm accessories collected.
On Thurday, Oct. 28, students from Debbie Lukert’s fourth grade class visited the Clearwater Senior Center as their pay-it-forward project. The project focuses on generation integration.
The class joined the seniors’ already-scheduled Halloween party. After handing out treats, students worked a Halloween crossword puzzle with senior citizens, refilled popcorn bowls, and talked to seniors and asked them questions.
One student found herself unexpectedly matched-up with her own great-grandmother.
“The Halloween part was fun and I liked seeing her there,” said Gwen Foley who had been paired with her great-grandmother, Virginia McSwain.

Student members of the Clearwater Intermediate-Middle School KAY Club filled 32 boxes with coats to send to women in the Ukraine, where winter temperatures remain consistently below freezing.