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Students Impact Local Community – With Heart

Mar 2, 2016 | IMAMUSTANG, Lower School News

image3 (1)Fourth graders at Mount Vernon did something a little more special than trade Valentine’s cards and candy this February. They made a difference in the Atlanta community.
Charles Plyler, a 12-year-old boy from Buckhead, recently visited Mount Vernon to speak to fourth grade students about his organization, Homeless at Heart. He shared how he started it and how they might help. He asked them to join him in reaching his goal of designing, packing, and distributing 2,000 Valentine boxes to those who are homeless in our local communities.
On his way home from a Hawk’s game, Charles noticed a homeless mother and her children outside of CNN Center. At that moment, he decided to make it his mission to help them, specifically over Valentine’s Day. Over the course of 21 days he gathered 200 shoe boxes, received donations from the community, and started making love boxes to distribute smiles to people without homes.
This year, with Charles’ inspiration, MVPS fourth graders created almost 70 decorated love boxes. Students not only sourced the materials, they designed their each unique box, filled them all with food and snacks, made Valentine cards and wrote letters to share. With a lot of heart, they would make sure many men, women and children on the streets knew that someone was thinking of them.
Fourth graders in Alix Rhett’s class reflect on their experience: 
AJ Kurtz: “Having fun while helping people is what it’s all about. I hope we made some people smile.”
Cate Jacobsen: “We enjoyed making boxes that were unique, by putting things in them that are interesting to us, as kids.”
Emily Levitan: “Doing something like this makes me want to help more than ever. We even put little notes in each box. I wrote: I hope you know there are people who are thinking about you.” 
Matthew Collins: “I think the people we helped were surprised to receive something a little extra. I don’t think they get a lot of attention and this is one way we could make them feel special.”