Our service project began back in August of 2019 when we put out a "Wanted Ad" for collection sites. KindCraft asked our community to help collect items for lunch sacks. We knew that in order to have enough supplies for our event that we were going to need a lot of help! Thank you Skyline E3 for designing these eye catching collection boxes for KindCraft. They were the perfect size for our lunch sack collection.
Numerous schools and businesses stepped up and volunteered to be collection sites. We had 20 collection bins placed all over Kansas City.
Pictured below is Prairie Creek Elementary School from the Spring Hill School District. Their entire school collected items throughout the month of September. We are so appreciative of your willingness to help! Thank you Kasey Zuniga for leading this big school project!
Wolf Springs Elementary in the Blue Valley School District also volunteered to be a collection site.
Led by KindCrafter Kristina Tripp their entire school collected, sorted, and counted hundreds and hundreds of lunch items. Thank you Wolf Springs Elementary for being so kind!
Third grade students from Madison Place Elementary in Olathe School District also stepped up to collect. We love their signs and efforts to help us bring in items, especially primary protein which was an item we really needed. Thank you to Nicole Long for helping to coordinate this project at the school.
KindCrafter Kristy Unruh didn't let distance stop her from wanting to help. She volunteered to have her Girl Scout Troop from Platte County School District and Park Hill School District collect items and then drove them a good distance to add to our collection. Thank you Kristy for modeling that kindness has no limits!
Led by fellow KindCrafter, Emily Peak, Spring Hill High School seniors collected hundreds of bottled waters for KindCraft.
Sunnyside Elementary had a school-wide collection for a week and brought in SO many items. Thank you Sunnyside for collecting AND hosting our event.
KindCrafter, Rachael Baca, volunteered to have her Girl Scout troop 1122 collect items. The girls are out of both Arbor Creek Elementary School and Brougham Elementary School. To spread the word, the girls made this adorable video to share with others.
You can check it out here: https://youtu.be/PNzKQb9pQfQ
Special shoutout to Caroline Overton and Swagelok for collecting lunch sack items and being a collection site; Berkley James for leading Cedar Creek Elementary School in collecting items; Julie Elaine and Living Hope Church for collecting items; Kristi Bobek and Garmin, Adam Howerton and Kansas City VA Medical Center. Our event would not be possible without your generous donations!!!
It was time for our actual event! Our Lunch Sack Packing Party was held at Sunnyside Elementary school on October 3. Many volunteers dropped off collection items prior to the event. We lined all of the donations along the perimeter of the gym. Thank you to all who helped with this part of the project! Isn't it amazing how much happens behind the scenes before our actual event even takes place? KindCraft is SO appreciative of a community that works together to make big things happen!!
With all the supplies dropped off and lined up, we were ready for the event to begin. About 200 KindCrafters arrived and you could feel the excitement in the air. Executive Director, Scott Cooper from Metro Lutheran Ministries spoke with the group about their mission and who our lunch sacks would be donated to. He asked the kids when the last time they had pizza was and many of them responded with that day or within the last week. He explained how some people are really hungry and might not ever have pizza. To build empathy, it is so important for kids to hear this information, especially from someone other than their parents. MLM gives out over 800 lunch sacks a month!
Before the sorting began, we wanted to say a special thank you from our KindCrafters. Remember a few weeks ago when we reminded you that National Custodian Appreciation Day was coming up? Well, we were a day late from the actual day of recognition but that did not stop us from thanking Sunnyside Elementary's custodian Jorge for all he does to help KindCraft.
After a few instructions, the kids got right to work sorting everything from tuna salad kits to granola bars and fruit cups. They piled, they stacked, they boxed, and they worked hard!!! It is amazing what can be accomplished with so many helping. Kids organized the items into four categories:
Primary Protein (tuna and chicken salad kits)
Secondary Protein (peanut butter, beef sticks, beanie weenies)
Fruit (fruit strips, fruit cups, fruit snacks)
Snacks (chips, cookies, granola bars, crackers)
As they sorted, they found lots of items that couldn't go in the lunch sacks, like canned goods and jars of peanut butter, but these items were perfect for MLM's food pantry.
Finally, it was time to package!! Families lined up in one of four lines to put one primary protein, one secondary protein, one fruit, and two snacks into a lunch sack for someone in need. We loved seeing the kids race to get back in line to pack another lunch sack!
MLM brought 25 tubs and they were filled in no time at all. KindCraft Student Ambassadors did a great job assisting with packing up all of the lunch sacks, carrying tubs and donations to trucks to be loaded, and cheering on some of the younger kids for all of their hard work.
While we posed for a picture, the total lunch sacks left were counted. We started with 1480 lunch sacks and had about 400 lunch sacks left which means we met our goal of making at least 1,000 lunch sacks. The kids cheered and were so proud when this was announced!
Special thanks to KindCrafter's Kristy Estabine and Holly Nitz for volunteering to help load their cars to deliver supplies to MLM the following day.
In addition to our lunch sack donations, people also donated books to KindCrafter Kristen Taggart's Girl Scout Silver Award project. Kristen has been participating in KindCraft events for the last several years. This year, she was collecting books for Reach Out and Read, a non-profit organization that collects new and gently used books for 3-5 year old children who live in low-income neighborhoods. To make her project sustainable she is building a little free library for Harmony Early Childhood Center and plans to use some of the books collected to stock the library. KindCraft is happy to support Kristen in this incredible project! We are proud of you Kristen!
This quote about teamwork is evident in our work since we started KindCraft.
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." --Henry Ford
In 2016, we came together for a common purpose-to teach our kids about kindness and compassion for others. Month after month, families keep together by returning to our events to continue our mission through a variety of service projects. We are truly starting to see the successes that come from working together.
Thank you to our entire community for supporting KindCraft!! Because of you, our children have a little more compassion for others. Because of you, 1,000 lunches will be given to those that are hungry. Because of you, our world is a better place.
Want to join in on all of this fun? Register for one of our upcoming events here! Don't delay-they are limited spots still available for our next two events.
We always appreciate support from our community, whether that be through attending events, donating supplies, corporate sponsorships, or monetary donations. KindCraft is an official 501c3 organization and your donations make it possible for us to continue our mission. Thank you for considering to make a tax-deductible donation to KindCraft.