Strode Station Leadership Club donates to Ark of Mercy

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Strode Station Elementary School, located at 1750 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, showcases a Leadership Club. 

Ark of Mercy Church of God, located at 240 Winn Avenue, showcases an Our Daily Bread Program. 

With the former offering to assist the latter, the two came together for a good cause on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 16th. 

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Fourth grade students making up the Leadership Club at Strode Station Elementary School gathered and donated more than 100 items of clothing that can be used to benefit the Our Daily Bread Program, which traditionally serves approximately 150 meals daily from Monday through Friday of each week. 

“We [were] invited here today to receive blankets and hats and gloves to give to our less fortunate people to come in every day to eat lunch,” said Robin Reece, the kitchen manager at Ark of Mercy Church of God, who was present along with volunteer Jerri Wilson. “I could almost cry…it is such a blessing that they [would] take this initiative and do this for these people.” 

The Ark of Mercy Church of God’s Our Daily Bread Program serves individuals in a variety of circumstances, including the elderly, sick, bedridden, homeless and more.

Yet during the cold weather months, outdoor conditions threaten their security in additional ways. 

Ros Gay, the family resource coordinator at Strode Station Elementary School, addressed the students. 

“When some of those people are standing outside when it’s cold, they might not have a coat. They might not have a blanket,” she said. “We really appreciate [you all] taking your time to think about this and giving back.” 

At the school, a leadership club made up of fourth grade students is run by teachers Ashley Thomas and Stacie Carrington. 

Each member was selected upon meeting specific criteria, which included receiving parent and teacher references as well as completing an essay describing why they felt they would make a good candidate. 

Ten students were eventually chosen: Amelia Thomas, Riley Koger, Eleanor Allen, Sterling Fitzgerald, Charlee Frick, Rebecca Baltazar, Alexander Solis, Ella Curtis, Connor Koutolas, and Camden Christopher. 

Collectively, the students came up with the service project – which they’ve called “Snuggie Love” – to donate to the Our Daily Bread Program. 

“They named it. They did all the work. We just sort of facilitated and sat back and let them do their thing,” said Ashley Thomas. “A true leader is a servant at heart. That’s what we want to teach them now and to see them stepping up like that [is] extremely rewarding.” 

“We got donations from socks, hats, beanies, scarves, blankets, and [items] like that,” said student Charlee Frick. 

Specifically, the students gathered 24 pairs of socks, nine scarves, 12 blankets, 33 gloves and 58 hats. 

“We need to tell all the people in Strode Station [thank you] for helping us [get] all these donations and helping us be capable of getting these to the people in need,” added student Eleanor Allen. 

Before long, all items were loaded up into a vehicle and ready to be utilized in the near future.

With Kindness Week at the school having just taken place and the topic being emphasized, it’s safe to assume that other acts will continue to follow from the Leadership Club.