By Lauren O’Shell

As Mother’s Day nears, students at Freedom Crossing Academy (FCA) have been focused on giving back to local women and children’s and family shelters.

Fourth grade students at FCA have teamed up with Two Men and a Truck to participate in a service-learning project called “Movers for Moms.” The fourth graders created a supply collection plan and encouraged all students at the school to collect supplies during the month of April. Students will bring these donations to local women and children’s shelters including Hubbard House, Betty Griffin Center and Quigley in St. Augustine and Jacksonville. Two Men And A Truck provided boxes, supplied tape and will transport the items to the shelters just in time for Mother’s Day.

The week before the project kicked off, fourth grade students read books in class to connect other stories of service to their own efforts. Fourth grade student Ansley Jenkins said it all started with a book. 

“We read ‘Boxes for Katje’ by Candace Fleming in class, which is about a girl from a small town in Holland who gets boxes from America with chocolate, soap and socks,” Jenkins said. “This inspired us. We are doing the same thing at FCA and giving to women and children who need these supplies more than we do.”

Kinley Jenkins, also a fourth-grade student at FCA, added, “Our school lined up boxes in common areas and we tried to inspire other FCA students to bring in supplies for the women and children at local shelters. We know it is making their life better. It made us feel good that we’re helping people. Everyone feels good!”

Students at Freedom Crossing Academy became inspired by the project and even worked hard to grow the supply collection outside of the school. Cole Okerberg wrote a letter to his neighbors, made copies and delivered the letter with the service project’s goal to local neighborhoods.

“I wanted to spread the idea to my neighborhood, so I made a letter and created a poster to make people want to give back to local shelters,” Okerberg said.

“Movers for Moms allows the community a meaningful way to show support for survivors by supplying food and essential care items on or before Mother’s Day. As a company that was founded by a mom and her children, we believe strongly in the importance of moms everywhere and want to make sure Mother’s Day is special for them,” said Brenda Ruffing of Two Men And A Truck.

This student-led service-learning project collected more than 10 large boxes of necessities to deliver to local shelters. Freedom Crossing students continue to “Take Flight and Break Barriers.”

Photo courtesy Lauren O’Shell
Ashley Anderson’s kindergarten class helped to donate items for local shelters.

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