SIOUX CENTER – Diapers. Sleepers. Blankets. Wipes. Baby shampoo.
Many families take buying these items for their newborn babies for granted, but some families struggle to afford these necessities.
A group of Sioux Center Middle School sixth-graders took it upon themselves to give these families a great head start by packing Baby Bundles full of necessary items. They donated a dozen bags to Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center to provide to moms who have a special need for them after the birth of their baby.
“It is helping them and caring for them,” said sixth-grader Michael Castro after helping to fill the Baby Bundles today (Friday, April 29). “It makes me happy because I like helping people. I think they’ll be really happy when they get it because some people are poor, and they can’t afford it.”
|Sixth-graders Tara Horstman and Peyton|
Toering fill bags with baby items for
families who need the items.
Each of the six sixth-grade Prime Time groups at Sioux Center Middle School applied for and were awarded $250 grants from Project Jack, which is funded by the Realtor Foundation of Iowa. The project – which is in memory of Jack Lindaman, who died in 2010 when he was 6 years old from spinal muscular atrophy – offers middle school students the opportunity to “pay it forward” by doing various projects to help others.
Sixth-grade teacher Kelsey Gibbons said the students in her group wanted to do a project to help kids in their own community. They threw out ideas and voted on them. Ultimately, they decided to assemble bags full of baby supplies and to donate them to Promise Community Health Center to distribute to families of newborn babies who need them. Promise, which serves many families and children who are at or below the poverty level, also had a Baby Bundles program in place that relies on community donations.
The students used their own ambition and initiative to take the grant project one step farther, however. Instead of just using the money to buy baby supplies, the students used the funds to buy Sioux Center Warrior lanyards and bumper stickers to sell at the middle school and high school as a fundraiser.
|Sixth-graders Alexander Maldonado and Michael|
Castro fold blankets and sleepers to put into the
Baby Bundles to donate to Promise Community
Health Center for families that need the items.
In doing so, they turned $250 into nearly $400. That allowed them to purchase supplies to fill 12 bags with an impressive array of items. They also donated leftover money to Promise’s Baby Bundles program for future use.
Gibbons said the students embraced the project.
“They were really excited about selling the products to raise more money because they know we have people in need in our community,” she said. “They wanted to help.”
She hopes the students developed additional empathy through the project.
|Sixth-grader Azenethe Reyes creates|
cards to put into the Baby Bundles.
“Otherwise, they might not have realized that some people can’t afford some of these things,” Gibbons said. “My hope is that they realize how fortunate some of us are. There isn’t a question of whether we will have food on our tables and whether we can go out and buy diapers, baby food and other supplies for our babies.”
Sixth-grader Ella Jahn said the project will help the community.
“Kids will be warm because they will have blankets, and they will stay clean because they have diapers. It will help them with their health and their life,” she said. “It made me feel good because I knew that I had these things, so it would be sad if they didn’t.”
Classmate Peytan Toering had similar sentiments.
“It felt good to help people that need this stuff and give them a healthy and happy childhood,” she said. “I think they’ll be really happy and excited that they will have all this stuff that they maybe couldn’t afford for their baby and that they will have good supplies for their babies to be comfy and clean.”
Promise Community Health Center, headquartered in Sioux Center, is the only Federally Qualified Health Center in the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video.
BABY BUNDLES ITEMS:
The Sioux Center Middle School sixth-grade group packed the following items into each Baby Bundle that it donated to Promise Community Health Center:
- One blanket;
- One sleeper;
- Two Onesies;
- One bag of diapers;
- Two packages of baby wipes;
- One bottle of wash/shampoo;
- One bottle of lotion.
The students also created cards for the families to put in the bags.
In addition to Promise Community Health Center, other organizations that were supported by the Sioux Center Middle School sixth-grade Project Jack projects included: Atlas, The Bridge, Hope Food Pantry, One Body One Hope and Sanford Children’s Hospital. Sioux Center Middle School also received school supplies for students who move into the district during the middle of the year and can’t afford the items.