MHS students assemble gifts for dialysis patients
By MICHELLE ADAMS/Community Columnist
As the Christmas season arrives, student organizations often work to extend help and warm wishes to those in need. Family and Consumer Science students at Montevallo High School partnered with the Just Believe group, in association with the Alabama Kidney Foundation, to assemble over 2,600 candy gift bags for dialysis patients.
Yvonne Green, founder of Just Believe shared her personal story with students, explaining that she was diagnosed in 1982 with a rare kidney disease and had to receive dialysis treatments beginning in 2004. Such treatments are conducted several times a week, for at least three hours at a time. After over twenty years waiting, she received a healthy kidney on May 5, 2008.
“Mrs. Green’s story touched us and encouraged us to become better people and help out others in need,” sophomore Randolph Estrada said.
Green explained to students that dialysis patients can only enjoy certain candies: Dum-Dum suckers, Smarties, Tootsie Rolls and peppermints. Classes helped unload supplies and organize assembly lines to count, package and load the stocking stuffers for delivery.
“Each student took pride in what he or she was doing,” Family and Consumer Science teacher Brandi Eades said. “Students worked together as teams to fill the gift bags, and even helped with the clean-up process. What is most impressive is how students encouraged each other and found value in this charitable act, especially since they heard a first-hand account of coping with a rare disease and then facing the difficult treatment process of dialysis. We also learned, through Mrs. Green’s experience, the life-saving significance it truly is to be an organ donor.”
The Family and Consumer Sciences student organization, FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), plans to assist Just Believe with future events such as a Mother’s Day luncheon, a fashion show and a community walk-a-thon to benefit the Alabama Kidney Foundation.
“Through students’ efforts, we hope to bring a little joy during the holiday season to someone who may be suffering serious health issues,” Eades said.
To become involved with the work of the Alabama Kidney Foundation, contact Yvonne Green at (205) 665-2833.
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