It's Cool 2B Kind

Ryken Fee and Hunter Graber fill their bags with personal care items to be given to patrons of the Blessings Soup Kitchen in Ottumwa. More photos Page 8.

This marks the second year that local State Farm Agent Wes Aeschliman has partnered with Lincoln Center third graders to show kindness to those in their communities. Students in Brandi Strickler’s class wrote letters to Aeschliman asking him for his help to to spread kindness by sponsoring two projects this year, the first being a day of planting flowers at Lincoln Center in an area they wanted to make more beautiful, and the second to help others in nearby communities.

The boys and girls created a letter asking all third graders to join in the fun and kindness, by collecting donations of hygiene items to create bags of personal care items to be available to the patrons of the Blessings Soup Kitchen in Ottumwa. All four classrooms started gathering items to fill the bags with items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, a comb, tissues, lotion, and shampoo and conditioner. 

Soon after the donations started arriving at school, Aeschliman came to school for a visit and presented them the third graders with a check to help them purchase items needed to complete their goal, one bag from each of the 85 third graders, as well as going to purchase the flowers for their Earth Day flower project. 

First students and their teachers worked together the week of Earth Day to plant the flowers in an open area at school where students could see the flowers grow and help to care for them. Then on Friday, all 85 students packed into the band and vocal room of Lincoln Center to fill their own hygiene bag with the items and included a handmade card of happiness to include with each bag. 

As part of State Farm’s initiative, “It’s Cool 2B Kind” this was the second year in a row that this partnership was formed, and both the teachers at Lincoln Center and Aeschliman are looking forward to many more.

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