BEARING GIFTS: First row: Erin Hopcraft, Tori Howard, Samantha Willis, Kendall Taber, Emily Crowder, Jamye Davis. Second row: Kristin Davis, Jenny Pierce, Kristen Guiderian, Kari Ricks, Cori Ricks, Katie Iannazzo, Ali Graham, Allison Dooman. Third row: Courtney Luna, Paige Parmiter, Mary Ballard Brunson, Becky Carter, Quincy Harrison, Stephanie Hall, Brandi Kirkwood, Danielle Reall, Chelsi McGuire, Mary Kham, Kelsey Harris.
Jenks High School students recently designed and delivered hundreds of bears to patients in St. Francis Children’s Hospital. As members of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, the students wanted to reach out and brighten the spirits of the patients.
The mission of the organization, which is also known as FCCLA, is to promote personal growth and leadership development. “Students learn through various service projects that promote family and community ideas,” explains Jenks High School teacher Marla Cole.
Recently, the national FCCLA adopted the Children’s Miracle Network as a project and the Jenks chapter jumped at the chance to think of a way to help in the area. Eventually, it was decided that the students would take gifts to children who were in the hospital over the holidays.
The students had the opportunity to add a personal touch to the gifts with the help of Build-A-Bear, a company that boasts custom-made bears.
The students also had a little help from Simon Curtis, the spokesperson for Children’s Miracle Network, a Nickelodeon actor and a Jenks High School graduate. Like many of the patients that the student’s visited, Curtis had also battled cancer in the very same hospital as a child. He explained that he was honored to be involved in the project.
Students decided that Curtis would be the perfect person to help them with their project and immediately contacted him. It only took him a few seconds to say yes and the next thing that they knew, he was flying in from Los Angeles.
Curtis and students spent a little time with each patient and not only left a bear but also a few words of encouragement. “It made everyone feel good to bring some joy to the children in the hospital,” says Cole.
The students are hoping that Curtis will speak at the FCCLA State Convention in April and look forward to their partnership in the future.
For more information about FCCLA, visit www.fcclainc.org or call Jenks High School at (918) 299-4411.