The Grayson County Middle School’s Junior BETA Club finished out their year by completing three service projects, helping the Leitchfield Family Resource Center, Kosair Children’s Hospital and the local food pantry.
“It helps the kids learn how important it is to provide service for others,” said club sponsor Nancy Sims, a counselor at the school who gave the club a re-start this year after the it had been discontinued for several years.
“The purpose [of the club] is to teach kids a lot of college and career readiness skills that are very important in today’s world. That’s a big focus right now all across Kentucky.”
The club has about 320 members in total, and Sims said about 180 of those actively participated in the group’s service projects throughout the year.
The students began in November by hosting a canned food drive for the local food shelter, gathering over 300 cans of food for those in need in the community.
“They really went above and beyond,” Sims said.
Next, the group worked to gather hygiene items to donate to the Family Resource Center. Over 300 bars of soap along with toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo were collected, according to Sims.
The third project was collecting toys for Kosair Children’s Hospital’s “Wish List.” Over 400 new toys including puzzles, books, DVDs, stuffed animals and crayons were brought in and sent to the patients at the hospital.
“One sixth grader even set up a plastic tote at her church and brought in a whole box of items,” Sims said, adding “She did that on her own, I didn’t ask her to.”
Sims said that when Kosair representative Natalie Gupton arrived to pick up the items, “she was just amazed. She said, ‘For a school this size to have donated so much was a blessing.’”
“They’ve done a great job,” Sims said. “I’m very, very proud of them.”