South Bend One in four kids struggle with hunger. In fact, one fourth of St. Joseph County gets assistance through organizations like St. Vincent de Paul.
That's why the organization says the need for help, is constant.
This year, one school is doing its part by participating in the “Warm Hearts Warm Hands” campaign through St. Vincent de Paul.
“Warm Hearts Warm Hands” is an addition to the Christmas Program that has been running nearly 50 years. The Christmas Program helps hundreds of families by providing food and toys as a way to share hope. Through the “Warm Hearts Warm Hands” program, organizers collect hats, scarves and gloves to keep those in need warm during the winter.
First through fourth graders at Stanley Clark wanted to get involved, so they spent the last week collecting winter items.
"Giving back" is something these kids learn about every year, and faculty says joining a new program, is yet another opportunity to grow.
In addition, they say this program is very age appropriate. It allows the young students to pick out something they would wear and then give to other kids their age who are less fortunate.
The idea also fits well with an annual tradition at the school.
“We always read ‘The Mitten Tree,’ by Candace Christiansen, and it’s about a woman who makes mittens for children, and she hangs them on a tree as a surprise or secret.," said Maria Reilly, the Head of Lower School at Stanley Clark. "We talk about how the book is about kindness and giving and generosity and we talk to the kids about how you can be generous in many ways."
Wednesday is the last day for kids to bring in these warm items, because on Thursday, folks from St. Vincent de Paul will pick up the collection. The school will host an assembly on Thursday, and the kids will sing them a song before stripping the items off the tree.