By Harold C. Ford
Students at Flint’s Durant-Tuuri-Mott (DTM) Elementary are making blankets for Flint-area homeless during their lunch periods at school. Some 25 students in third through sixth grades will deliver six blankets to the North End Soup Kitchen on Global Youth Service Day Thursday, April 11. Catholic Charities-Flint will then distribute the blankets to needy persons at area homeless shelters.
DTM students selected the project and volunteered their labor. Students are members of four groups at the school including: Student Council, Blueberry Ambassadors, Youth Quest, and Friday Club. During their visit to the soup kitchen, students will also participate in serving meals. The North End Soup Kitchen at 735 E. Stewart Ave. in Flint serves meals to those with low or no income seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Funding for the materials to make the blankets was provided by United Way of Genesee County. Leader of the project is Olivia Rutherford, 23, an AmeriCorps VISTA worker who was provided to DTM by the Crim Fitness Foundation. She is assisted by Felicia Naimanik, 53, a DTM speech pathologist and faculty advisor for Student Council and Blueberry Ambassadors.
“I think helping people is something good to do,” said Aniyah Blade, 11, a DTM sixth grader.
Classmate Frances Pendell, 8, a third grader, agreed. “We’re helping people in need and I think it’s a good thing to do.” Pendell suggested that her parents helped build her value of community service. “I know my mom would do something like this,” she said, “and quite a lot of people on my dad’s side.”
According to its website, “Global Youth Service Day is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world and the only one that celebrates and expands the capacity of all youth ages 5-25 and their communities thrive by working together for the common good.” GYSD projects are found in more than 100 countries. Sponsors at the national and international levels include State Farm, Disney, and the Inter-American Development Bank.
EVM Staff Writer Harold C. Ford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Banner photo by Harold C. Ford.