Students serve community through Falcons for Change

Students serve community through Falcons for Change
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Now in its sixth year, Falcons for Change is still growing and finding new ways to help those in need.

This year 222 students are part of the community service club at Faribault Middle School. The club has a simple yet ambitious goal: to provide volunteer service to those who need it, in the school, in the community and throughout the world.

Due to its size, the group meets just once at the start of the school year. From there, students and advisers stay in contact online using Schoology. Students can either sign up for activities, such as visiting residents at Pleasant Manor, working with younger students at McKinley Early Childhood Center or assisting adult English language learners at the Faribault Education Center, or they can present their own ideas for projects. Advisers then help them work out the details and come up with the materials they need.

Some of this year’s projects include making care packages for military families and cancer center patients, collecting canned foods for the Faribault Food Shelf, making blankets for patients at the children’s hospital, and making pillows for residents at Ruth’s House.

“The students bring forward the ideas themselves. It really gives them an opportunity to develop leadership skills while making a difference in their community,” Falcons for Change adviser April Coppess said. “The students we have in Falcons for Change are the best leaders we have in the school. They are super passionate about helping others and other kids see that and want to be a part of it.”

Sixth-grader Fatumo Ahmed signed up because she wanted to help people and she wanted to make new friends. Now she’s learning how to make pillows and blankets while working closely with classmates. She’s excited to deliver the pillows to Ruth’s House.

Another sixth-grader, Kaylie Bertram, said she feels bad for kids who are stuck in drab hospital rooms. So she decided to make colorful blankets that will be delivered to the children’s hospitals in the Twin Cities.

“I wanted them to have vibrant colors in their rooms, not just boring white sheets,” Bertram said.

Eighth-grader Zuhur Abdullahi signed up for Falcons for Change at the start of sixth grade because her cousin told her it would be fun. Now she’s working on care packages that will go to patients at the District One Cancer Center.

Eighth-graders Lupita Rodriguez, Morgan Borchert and Ahliyah Reyes have three projects keeping them busy. To raise funds for their projects in support of Gillette Children’s Hospital, Hope Center and Ruth’s House, they held a fundraiser on Unity Day and worked in the concession stand at basketball games.

“It makes you feel good to make people happy,” Borchert said. “When people have gone through so much, you want to make them smile and brighten their day.”

“It feels good to make a difference,” Reyes added. “Even if it’s just one person at a time, you can change their world.”

Faribault Middle School students can join Falcons for Change throughout the school year by meeting with advisers April Coppess or Brent Hawkins. To submit ideas for volunteer opportunities, contact Mr. Hawkins at 507-333-6351 or Ms. Coppess at 507-333-6396.


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