Earlier this month, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton sixth-graders spent a few hours giving back to their community by volunteering at Second Stork in St. Paul. Second Stork is a Minnesota nonprofit that works to provide struggling new moms with basic and much needed supplies for their babies.
Kathy Gleich, a middle school religion teacher at SEAS, said every grade level at SEAS has a specific service focus and the sixth-graders get to volunteer with Second Stork. The service project is in support of what they learn in the classroom during October, which is the respect of life.
The sixth-graders at SEAS spent three hours sorting through supplies and packaging it together. Packages included items like diapers, wipes, onesies, a blanket and a playard. Gleich said the students needed a service project that involved movement, a purpose and a focus. The Second Stork service project was the perfect way to incorporate those things, Gelich said.
“(The students) are having fun sorting it, but they know ultimately they did a very big thing,” Gleich said of the sixth-graders.
The service hours the sixth-graders completed were much appreciated by the leaders at Second Stork, Gleich said. On that particular day, there was a very large job to be completed and the SEAS students conquered it in a couple hours.
“We were working on a big project that had just come in that was overwhelming for them, and we completed the whole project,” Gleich said.
Once the supplies have been sorted and packaged, other volunteers distribute those packages to more than 60 Minnesota hospitals. From there, the supplies are handed out to families in need, based on the judgement of experienced medical professionals and hospital staff.
Gleich said the idea behind the service project is to teach students that they are supporting the dignity and value of human life just like they learned in the classroom.
“That’s what we want to teach the kids,” Gleich said, “is wherever you can just do your little part to support everyone's dignities.”
Some of the younger students were able to help out in addition to the sixth-graders. Gleich said many of the pre-K students donated onesies to the cause. A few sorting boxes were brought to the younger grade as well. The pre-K students will be able to sort some of the supplies throughout the year, which will then be turned back into Second Stork.