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December 6, 2013

The gift of giving

DUNCAN — Many young people have made out their list for Christmas, however, 11 Duncan Middle School students recently experienced the joy of giving rather than receiving.

Before Christmas each year, Love in Action, an organization through Eastside Church of Christ, makes aprons out of holiday themed fabric to take to nursing homes. This year, the group wasn’t able to purchase the fabric.

One of the group members, Lela Hatch, is the grandmother of Stacy Smith, a teacher for DMS. When Smith learned of the situation, she did what teachers do best — created an educational opportunity.

“We made it a Monthly Challenge Acknowledgment,” said Smith. “The kids wrote grant applications to the (Duncan) Lion’s Club.”

Each student at DMS who wished to filled out the grant application, which was a series of questions focusing on core subjects. The students had to research to answer each question. In response to the applications, the Lion’s Club awarded $200 to the project.

“These are the students who wrote the grant applications that stood out the most,” Smith said of the young people who participated in the sewing project Thursday.

Though the grants were already written, education continued with the project. Sewing in itself is a valuable skill for people of any age and the women of Love in Action helped the students learn to cut fabric, use a sewing machine and iron.

Each student was expected to make at least two aprons during their time at Eastside Church of Christ.

“It’s wonderful,” said Hatch, or Memaw as she is known to many people. “We enjoy kids and are having a good time with them.”

Additionally, measuring and cutting fabric in the correct angles allowed the students to incorporate classroom learning such as geometry. Last but not least, the young people experienced service.

“I think its really cool,” said Faith Calhoun. “I’ve sewn before and I’m excited about taking (the aprons) to the nursing home.”

Once their time was up at the church, the students were taken to Meridian Nursing Home, where they presented the aprons to residents there.

Any left over fabric will be used by Love in Action for either more aprons or for their other projects, such as blankets, wheelchair bags or robes.

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