Mill Creek Elementary School in Independence had to come up with an idea for a project for Kindness Week, something to make other people’s days a little bit better.
A group of teachers looked at the school’s principal, Lindsey Miller, for inspiration. Miller was medical leave earlier this year as she had a battle with cancer.
That’s why the teachers decided to have all students last week help put together care bags for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
“They decided to put together these chemo care bags for people going through things similar to what I was going through,” Miller said.
Students collected monetary and item donations, so they could put goods inside gallon-sized Ziploc bags, which were donated to the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center at Centerpoint Medical Center. The bags included materials such as lotion, chapstick, water bottles, coloring books, Sonic gift cards, snacks, socks and magazines. The school donated 220 bags with 10 items each.
“We have a really great staff and wonderful, kind students here at Mill Creek,” Miller said. “It felt amazing that they were doing that in my honor.”
Older students paired up with younger ones to move down an assembly line to put the donated items inside the bags last week. Some of them even wrote notes to the patients to give them words of encouragement.”
“I like when we put the stuff in there that everyone was talking about how (the cancer patients) will love the things that they’re getting in the bags,” Mill Creek student Eva Oehlke said. “I heard some people saying, ‘Aw, that’s so nice of them!’”
During the assembly, a pair of students held up a black sign with a light blue ribbon with a message for Miller and others dealing with cancer: “No one stands alone. We stand with you,”with pictures below of stick figures holding hands.
“I thought it was a really nice gesture,” Jason Meza said of the Kindness Week project. “I really enjoyed how our school was coming together to help everyone with cancer and the chemo. I was very happy to a part of this school in general because of all the nice people.”
Making chemo care bags is something Miller said she hopes the school will continue to do in the future.
“The past three years we had made homeless bags and taken them to a church to drop off,” Miller said. “But this year, they got the idea to change it up to these chemo care bags. I think this is a great activity we hope to continue.
“I got one myself and it was very sweet.”