WHMS Honor Society helps Cranston residents have good night

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At the conclusion of the school year, CCAP’s president of Social Services, Joanne Gregory visited Western Hills Middle School to pick up bags for Goodnight Cranston, a service project the seventh and eighth-grade students in the school’s newly-established National Junior Honor Society had spent weeks fundraising for and participating in. The NJHS students gathered in the school’s auditorium to welcome Gregory and filled an entire section, nearly to capacity.

Gregory took a moment to explain to them what CCAP is and how they help others.

“We are an agency that helps to mobilize resources to help the families in our community that are in need,” Gregory told the students. “You may not be aware but there a lot of families in Cranston that are struggling for a variety of reasons. It could be that they lost their job, or that they have a health issue or a mental health issue. It could be that they’ve been evicted from their home. It could be a lot of reasons. We help people that are victims of domestic violence. We have a food pantry that serves about 550 Cranston families every single month.”

Gregory thanked the students for all of their effort and dedication over the past months.

“It’s really nice and so wonderful for me to see our youth stepping up to the plate and helping folks in their community that they don’t even know that are in need,” she said. “It’s important, and I applaud you all for doing it. There are little kids that come there in the winter who don’t have hats and gloves. We get requests for blankets and pillows. This is going to be so nice. These folks struggle a lot and they don’t have a lot. This is going to make the day of some little kids because gifts are not something they get every day. I’m just so very, very grateful and I hope you always think of CCAP and the work that we do because we would not be able to do what we do without you.”

The bags that the students filled contained items such as fleece blankets and pillowcases they’d hand-made, as well as things like stuffed animals, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The blankets and pillowcases were made at Jerilyn’s Sewing School in Cranston in an evening when the honor society participated in a volunteer sewing night there. The staff of the school donated their time and some of the materials for the event.

In order to raise the money to get the items to fill the bags, the honor society hosted a hat day at Western Hills, ran a car wash and ran program ads in their National Junior Honor Society’s induction ceremony, raising nearly $1000 in total, with the car was bringing in almost $700 alone.

Faculty advisor Stephanie Kaffenberger was pleased with the dedication she saw in the students for this new endeavor, pleasantly surprised at the success that the organization saw during its first year.

“The level of participation I saw from these students exceeded my expectations,” Kaffenberger said. “Their level of enthusiasm amazed me. It was a great first year.”

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