Caring Counts


Lauren Zitti writes, At a wonderful school called Kinard Middle School that I attend…

At a wonderful school called Kinard Middle School that I attend, there are two teachers and one of the teacher’s daughters that are the founders of a wonderful program that they call hats, scarves, and blankets for the homeless. This is a program that helps homeless people keep warm in the winter. It is a simple process; all the sixth graders at Kinard have the opportunity to make either scarfs or blankets for one entire class period. The original founder of this activity is my history teacher, Mrs. Beenken, and her daughter Rachel. “My family was down in Denver one night and it was just absolutely cold and raining, and suddenly I noticed that there were so many people on the streets. They were huddled in corners, against buildings, they were homeless people. It just broke my heart to see so many people, so I thought what could kids do to help with it? And that is when I got the idea of hats, scarfs and blankets for the homeless.” This is a quote from Rachel. Just this one idea led to six, going on seven, years of sixth graders helping the homeless. Mrs. Beenken and Rachel wrote a grant for this project and got the grant in 2005 and it ran through 2010. This year, unfortunately the grant was not a priority, so we had to improvise. We still had a lot fabric, but not enough to make hats. It was ok because we still made many, many blankets and scarfs. Mrs. Beenken and Rachel weren’t alone in this though they did have a very dependable teacher named Mr. Kreider with them. Mr. Kreider wants to allow kids one more opportunity to give back to the community. In a nut shell this is a wonderfull program that was started with just a thought of kindness.