Upshur County students make a difference through acts of service

BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Schools provide students enriching opportunities to become involved in our local community. To give back to the community that continues to support the wellbeing and success of our schools, students at Buckhannon-Upshur High School and Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School offered donations, time, and acts of service to the Upshur County Parish House and the Annie Smiles Foundation.

Buckhannon-Upshur High School students collected and donated 78 containers of frosting to the Upshur Parish House to support the food pantry. In addition to the donation, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) students volunteered to help organize the food pantry, collect and bag goods for community members, and spread kindness through the gift of giving.

FBLA President, Jordan Brown, shared, “When Kristi Wilkerson shared her goals of The Parish House at our FBLA Kickoff, our members were immediately eager to help. In order to assist in meeting those goals, members first toured The Parish House and then volunteered in their free time. Members were responsible for helping with donation boxes that were provided around Thanksgiving. As these members continued to give back to the community, FBLA partnered with Youth in Leadership Association (YLA) to collect frosting for Christmas food boxes. Our members were able to observe and participate in the process of neighbors helping neighbors.

“Through the various opportunities provided by The Parish House so far, our members have been able to assist a much-needed nonprofit business and continue to demonstrate the willingness of younger generations to help when and as needed.”

The Annie Smiles Foundation extended their gratitude to Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School students who took the opportunity to “think of others this holiday season.” Sixth-grade students collected 77 new, unwrapped toys for children. The Foundation has collected toys for children with special needs for over 20 years. Cheyenne “Annie” Rowan was a young lady who had special needs and loved Christmas. Annie’s family made it a tradition to collect toys in Annie’s name to put “Christmas smiles” on children’s faces during the holiday season.

Superintendent of Upshur County Schools, Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus, shares, “We are so proud of our students and all that they have accomplished through these service-learning efforts.  These students are leaders in their schools and community, they are good problem solvers and know how to utilize their resources to help others.  This collaboration and service above self is more than a simple school lesson, we are preparing our students for true citizenship, service, and respect for others. Again, we are very proud of our students and their amazing teachers and leaders.”

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