In the Fall of the 2017-2018 school year, six Pocopson Elementary parents shared an idea to start a student club focused on Kindness. Word about the Kids with Heart club spread and within an hour of opening registration, the club filled its membership with the first hour with 45 interested students. The leaders’ hope is that the club will inspire others via something that Pocopson parent and author Lisa Barrickman calls “the ripple effect” in her book A Case for Kindness (available at Amazon.com and at other retailers). Practically, the club has taken on several different kindness and service related initiatives already this year and has more planned for the Spring.
September - students made kindness rocks to leave at various places in their communities, prepared kindness cards to pass out at school to encourage others to pass kindness on, and heard from author Lisa Barrickman. They also discussed ways they could show kindness throughout their school, community and world.
October - Good for you Groceries - The club partnered with an organization called Heaven on Earth Now, and with the Chester County sheriff’s department to purchase healthy groceries for families who need food. Heaven on Earth Now provided over $900 in funding and the list of 13 specific grocery items which the children shopped for while looking for healthy versions of those foods. The children prepared 50 bags of groceries which the Sheriff’s office delivered to Chester County Family Academy for distribution.
November - Candy for Soldiers - the club partnered this time with Stockings for Soldiers, an organization in Delaware which ships care packages to active duty and retired soldiers. The children collected more than 200 pounds of Halloween candy and wrote notes to the soldiers thanking them for their service.
Also in November Pamper Packages - Again the club partnered with Heaven on Earth Now to prepare care packages for cancer patients that included a neck pillow, eye mask, chapstick, roll of lifesavers, fuzzy slippers, water bottle and encouraging notes. Faculty, staff and families at Pocopson Elementary donated money and supplies, and Heaven on Earth Now provided tote bags. The club delivered fifty care packages to Chester County Hospital for their outpatient chemotherapy patients.
December - Comfy Cozy Bags - One of the club advisors spent time in a Syrian refugee camp between the ages of 9 and 11. Her memory of the camp included blankets that felt sharp as razors to her young skin, so soft blankets are a real need for these facilities. Heaven on Earth Now once again provided 100 tote bags, 50 stuffed animals and 50 adult-sized blankets and the PES Kids with Heart Club provided the materials to make fifty additional packages that included no-sew fleece blankets and a new gently used or new stuffed animals for children. The packages will be shipped by an organization called Narenj Tree out of Norristown, PA to internally displaced refugee children in Syria.