Students from the International School of Minnesota (ISM) worked hard to make the holidays a little bit brighter for six Twin Cities families through their annual holiday season “Adopt a Family” service project.
ISM partnered with Minneapolis-based service organization Good in the Hood for this initiative, which involved fulfilling wish lists of needs and wants for local families in need.
“The goal of this program is to support local families from the Twin Cities who are in extreme need, especially this time of the year,” Sarah Bianucci, ISM’s student life coordinator.
“Good in the Hood is an organization that provides daily and annual needs to families in extreme need. Job loss, housing, illness, and disabilities are probably the top reasons these families apply for support each year,” she added.
ISM has worked with Good in the Hood for several years, a partnership Bianucci expects to continue. “They are extraordinary organization that truly supports families in extreme need throughout all times of the year,” she said.
Andrew Cheng, an ISM junior who is the student body’s deputy head of Social Responsibility, worked with Good in the Hood to spearhead the initiative.
The ISM school community was divided into six sections, each responsible for purchasing gifts for a specific needy family using the wish lists provided.
“ISM students and families were given specific wish lists for each family and its members,” she said. “This was as specific as their ages, sizes, and wants/needs. This allowed our families to purchase specific items and bring them to school to be wrapped on our service day.”
Items ranged from socks, diapers, mittens, and pajamas to bedding, dollhouses, board games, gift cards, and shoes.
Over three weeks, ISM’s community purchased and fulfilled the gift wish lists of the six families in extreme need in the greater Twin Cities community.
“Our school community not only provided every single item on each family member’s wish list, but also more gift cards, necessities, and fun toys for the children we supported,” Bianucci said.
“One of the biggest parts of this service is having [Good in the Hood’s] Executive Director Shawn Morrison come to our school on the day of service to receive the wrapped gifts on behalf of the families.
“After Mr. Morrison shared his thanks on behalf of the families, ISM students helped load the gifts into a trailer to be delivered to the families in need during the holiday season,” she said.
Bianucci said the students were inspired to compassion and action by reading the letters from the needy families. “I believe the letters from the families in extreme need that were shared with our families really ignited our efforts,” she said, explaining that Good in the Hood shared only first names of the families to protect their privacy.
“It is always our intention to spread and inspire intentional kindness where there is a need,” Bianucci added.
Learn more about Good in the Hood’s Holiday Help program on the organization’s website.
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