After attending the FFA Washington Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., Ellsworth High School students Kailey Brenner and Roslind Anderson are both working on Living to Serve Plans with the goal of helping the local community in some way.

Hat and mitten drive

For her project, Anderson created a plan to collect winter clothes for students who can't afford them.

"I decided on a hat and mitten drive because here in Wisconsin we can have some harsh winters. I was always fortunate enough to have warm winter clothing while other kids weren't so fortunate," Anderson said. "I really wanted to make sure that the kids that weren't fortunate could have their own warm winter clothing. So with this project each child that doesn't have their own winter accessories can now have their own hats and mittens to keep them warm."

The hat and mitten drive, which has donation boxes outside the offices at the high school, middle school and elementary school, started on Dec. 3 and will go until Monday, Dec. 17. Anderson is looking for new winter hats and mittens as well as other winter accessories in both kids and adult sizes, with donations being given to the local food shelf and elementary teachers.

"My goal for this project is to fill a minimum of three totes full of winter accessories to provide to the community. I set this goal because it's a realistic goal that will help provide children that are less fortunate," said Anderson. "Setting up this project was quite simple."

According to Anderson, she is also accepting gently used coats as part of the hat and mitten drive.

"Please consider donating to this project that will help our community stay warm this winter," Anderson said.

Donations for books

Brenner created a plan to collect money for books for less fortunate children. Brenner is looking to raise $1,000 in order to donate it to the elementary school so they can supply books from the Scholastic book orders for children who are unable to afford it at the elementary school.

"I came up with this idea because I plan to major in elementary education and I also enjoy reading, so it just seemed natural to do a service project that included both," Brenner said. "To set up my project, I had to contact the Ellsworth Elementary School principals, who put me in contact with (first grade teacher) Sarah Ainsworth. From there, she helped me figure out how many teachers were in need of this and about how much money I should plan to raise. Then, I worked with Mrs. Christenson to spread the word about my service project."

Brenner's project runs until Dec. 20, and she hopes to be able to supply a book or two to encourage the love of reading and learning in younger students.

"People can help me reach my goals by donating money. They can do this by filling out my form and sending it to the Ellsworth High School Ag Room, or by contacting myself ( or Mrs. Christenson (," Brenner said. "People should know that this is something needed at the elementary school, and that it will also greatly benefit many students. I hope that they consider helping me reach my goals in order to impact the lives of countless students."