How 9 Goshen Schools Spent Their Year of Goodness Funding

It’s been a good year in Goshen. In part, that’s because of a decision made by its mayor.

Mayor Jeremy Stutsman designated March 2017 through March 2018 as the Year of Goodness in the Maple City. The effort encourages generosity and recognizes the people, businesses, and organizations making a difference in the community.

While the project invites all residents to participate, Stutsman began the movement with students in Goshen Community Schools. Thanks to generous donations from community members, Mayor Stutsman was able to raise $18,000 to be distributed among 12 schools. His mission to the students was simple: Create and carry out acts of kindness within the city of Goshen

More than halfway through the Year of Goodness, we think it’s safe to say: Mission accomplished.

Read on to learn more about just some of the “goodness” gracing Goshen thanks to Goshen Community Schools students.

Making ornaments and delivering them to Greencroft retirement community residents.

Buying fabric and making blankets to donate to The Window social service agency.

Adopting a family through Salvation Army and buying Christmas presents for them.

Ringing bells for the Salvation Army and donating the money to the organization.

Presenting shoppers at local grocery stores with $5 gift cards to help pay for their purchases. The students told shoppers about the Year of Goodness and presented them with bracelets reading, “Pay It Forward.”

Donating bedsheets to the Interfaith Hospitality Network.

Creating placemats and bags of pet treats for Meals on Wheels.

Donating books to the Boys & Girls Club of Goshen and spending half a day cleaning the building.

Creating and donating jars of cookie mix for The Window social service agency, and also buying other supplies for the agency.

Performing 1,000 acts of kindness before they take a study trip to The Window in the spring.

Creating “blessing bags” for patients at Goshen Health Hospital.

Fourth-grade Parkside students wrote to Mayor Stutsman about taking part in the Year of Goodness. Here’s some of what they had to say!

Christopher Sixtos-Armas “This act of kindness gave me a big inspiration to be giving more than getting. I hope that everyone could be generous in some way.”

Dyashia Myers “I love to be generous, and I love to be giving.”

Dteban Mounsithiraj “Although it took a long time, it was fun to make something for someone you don’t know. It feels good to be generous because you make it a habit to give, but not get.”

Scarlett Wade “Learning about generosity will really help us. When we’re older, we’ll remember how we helped people at The Window by using generosity.”

GHS students recently donated a dozen stockings filled with toys, games, candy, Toys R Us gift cards, and more to new parents at Goshen Health Hospital. They also delivered 18 more stockings full of puzzles, games, candy, and gift cards to local restaurants to patients on the third and fourth floors of the hospital.

Year of Goodness funds were used to buy the paint for the new recycling containers in the GHS cafeteria.

Students also plan to purchase toys for the daycare at the high school and sponsor a bike-to-school week – complete with daily prizes and a breakfast at the end of the week for all participants – in the spring.

The students aren’t finished yet. Even more ideas are in development!

Donate books to the book cart at Goshen Health Hospital for kids who are staying there, and also make the young patients cards.

Purchase gifts for needy children at Chandler and provide each with a $20 grocery card. Through the Year of Goodness program, they were able to sponsor 20 children!

Donate the remaining funds (around $425) to The Window.

Goshen Middle School students identified 12 families in need and provided them with an $80 Kroger gift card, laundry supplies, towels, fleece blankets, coffee mugs/hot chocolate, shower supplies, cleaning supplies, stocking stuffers, family games (dominoes, cards), a tin of popcorn, candy canes and a homemade holiday card from GMS students. They also raised an additional $1,000 to prepare these care boxes.
The children at Chamberlain purchased blanket kits at Jo-Ann Fabrics. The blankets will be donated to Salvation Army, The Window, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network, and the GHS Child Care Center.

Model students decided that they would like to create Chemo Care Kits for patients at Goshen Center for Cancer Care.

They also planned to provide some other things for the Cancer Center to use, including Kindle Fires with preloaded books, etc.

The students will also interview Model staff members and who are cancer survivors, along with relatives of staff members that have experienced chemotherapy.

St. John’s students filled care bags with toiletries, toys and blankets for Goshen Interfaith Network clients.

Third- through fifth-graders are donating books at the Boys and Girls Club and providing a check for Katie’s Kitchen to purchase needed kitchen items.


Local Students Are Making This Year Uncommonly Good

The End!

Writer • Scott Weiser
Editor • Liz Shenk
Images provided by Goshen Community Schools

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