JACKSON CENTER — When Jackson Center seventh graders Katie Clark and Kennedy Jackson had to come up with a project for FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) program, they picked something near and dear to their heart.
This past weekend, with the help of the Tigers’ seventh- and eighth-grade basketball teams, Katie and Kennedy set up an assembly line which produced 200 care packages that will be placed on the lunch trays of kids who will be spending this coming Valentine’s Day in Dayton Children’s Hospital.
The choice of care packages for patients at Children’s Hospital an easy one for the close friends as each have had siblings who spent time at Children’s. Kennedy’s sister was born there at Children’s with a congenital heart defect, while Katie’s sister had surgery for a broken hip at the very same facility (both are healthy today). Both girls were deeply impressed by the nurturing, empathetic staff and the superior care that their sisters received there, so doing something for the kids at Children’s Hospital was an obvious choice.
But making the choice for a project is the easiest part. Putting the plan into motion is quite another story.
To raise money for the project, Katie and Kennedy made and sold over 100 dozen Buckeyes, the delectable munchie made from peanut butter dipped in chocolate, known to every resident of the Buckeye State. But for anyone who’s ever complained about effort it takes to make just two dozen of the diet-ruining confections, multiply that times 50 to get an idea how much time these two put into the project.
Katie and Kennedy sold the roughly 1,300 Buckeyes they made and raised a total of $467, of which $317 was spent on gifts, which any kid stuck in the hospital over Valentine’s Day will receive, things such as small games, crazy straws, party favors, coloring books, crayons, and some sweet-smelling hand sanitizer Katie and Kennedy picked up a Bath and Body Works.
Katie and Kennedy also received dozens of donations to throw in the bags, including 600 packets of baby wipes that were kicked in by PlayTex in Sidney. The Locker Stocker provided writing utensils, the Jackson Center Police Department threw in some keychains and magnets, and the elementary students pitched in by making the cards that will go in each of the bags.
The remaining $149 not spent on goodies will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House, with the girls expecting to cut a check and have it delivered about the same time the kids are getting their gifts.
Katie and Kennedy expect to drop off the cart full of goodies to Children’s Hospital next week in time for lunchtime on Feb. 14.