Student donations flood the Son-Sine Center

Posted 2/11/20

Students at Madisonville Elementary School donated over a thousand toiletry and hygiene items to the Son-Shine Outreach Center in Madisonville in order to make a difference in the community and honor the one hundredth day of class.

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Student donations flood the Son-Sine Center

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Students at Madisonville Elementary School donated over a thousand toiletry and hygiene items to the Son-Shine Outreach Center in Madisonville in order to make a difference in the community and honor the one hundredth day of class.

Kindergarten teacher Sara Villarreal coordinated the effort by challenging each classroom in the school to donate at least 100 items to teach the kids the importance of giving and celebrate the 100-day milestone.

“For our little school, that is amazing,” said Villarreal on the student contributions. “My kids were bringing stuff in, but they just got so excited when they saw other classrooms start to fill up.”

The project could not have come at a better time. While researching possible locations to benefit the effort, Villarreal learned the Son-Shine Center was in great need of the particular items.

“At the time (Villarreal) called, we were really low on hygiene items,” said Son-Shine Center Coordinator Lisa Wamsley. “She said she was hoping to get a tote-full, and we had plenty of those. She called me back and said we may need to bring several totes, which was super for us. We ended up with a truckload.”

Villarreal came across the idea for the project before presenting it to Dr. Rhodena Brooks, the school’s principal. She also used the items to work on her students’ sorting skills, which is part of the Kindergarten curriculum.

The kids sorted the items into groups of 100 to keep with the original theme.

“They loved it,” said Villarreal. “I heard some of their stories and they kind of brought in their own perspectives. They got to bring their home lives into it and we just talked about small ways we could help. The kids were so for that.”

The Son-Shine Center was also a perfect option for the project because of the assistance it offers those locally.

“A big thing for us was that everything we donated would be distributed back into our very own community,” said Villarreal. “We were going to be helping our own neighbors. Let people be aware that they do take these items and are in desperate need of them.”

Villarreal’s last count totaled 851 items given by the students, but numerous more donations came in after the fact before they were collected.

“It is absolutely amazing, we are totally blessed,” said Wamsley. “It is always nice when somebody reaches out like that. We are very fortunate. We get a lot of donations and community support as it is, but any time that happens we are truly blessed. If it does not come in through donations, we have to buy it.”

The Son-Shine Outreach Center is located at 320 North May Street in Madisonville and open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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