WAUKEE, Iowa – One Shuler Elementary student is making sure no one gets left behind this Valentine’s Day.
Third grade student Weston Hag came up with the idea to give Valentine’s gift bags to Central Iowa Shelter and Services back in December, after writing an essay listing items he could donate.
“They don’t really get any presents or kindness notes, and I just wanted to make their day,” Hag said.
Hag went to the principal asking for permission and then the rest of his class got involved.
Third grader Olivia Stanger said, “I am helping by getting all of the donations and putting them and sorting them.”
The students included the whole school by asking for donations like toiletries, water bottles, granola bars, winter jackets, canned foods and more.
Third grade teacher Emily Buckles said each day her class would tell her a new story about collecting a donation.
“They just ran with it. Every day they would come in and ‘I talked to my neighbor and I got a bunch of food. Or hey, I went and collected some coats from some people. Or, at the dentist last night I told them what we were doing, and we got a bunch of tooth brushes and tooth paste and things like that.’ So, it was neat to see,” Buckles said.
Hag said he hopes to continue this new tradition for May Day. “It makes me feel good and my goal is to give them hope and give them a smile on their face.”
Buckles said students in the first grade decorated each bag. The goal is to give out 175 to 200 bags to the shelter for Valentine’s Day.
“This is bigger than what I come in to do and teach math, reading or writing. I want them to be great people, successful citizens, and just to see their hearts and their passions for others and wanting to give back that’s the bigger goal. That’s what I want, them to have those kind of hearts,” Buckles said.
The students plan to deliver the gift bags Wednesday February 13th before dinner is served at the shelter.