Inspired by Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Breast Cancer Causes
Students of PS 250 and PS 380 obtained some experience in making a difference with their October community service projects. They worked to raise money to fight breast cancer and to make care packages for Puerto Rico and Mexico.
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, St. Nicks Alliance afterschool leaders
Nector Santiago (site director of PS 380) and Desarie Torres (assistant site director of PS 250) are experienced Think Pinkers. They’ve attended the annual breast cancer walk for several years. “It’s a cause that we hold close to our hearts,” said Torres. They brainstormed to think up a cross-site activity to support the walk and decided on a “Think Pink” bake sale. The goodies for PS 250’s two-day bake sale were supplied by staff and parents. “We were pleasantly surprised by how many pastries everyone provided. We had two tables filled with pink treats: cupcakes, lollipops, cake, cookies, banana bread, and even fluffy pink headbands to wear at the walk. It was great seeing everyone come together for such a great cause,” said Torres. Parents also helped with selling the baked goods. Their top seller was a strawberry cake baked by group leader, Jeffrey Bradshaw. It sold out on day one, and people came the next day looking to buy more. PS 250’s sale raised about $400. PS 380’s bake sale was held on one day. Here the pink treats were made by staff and sold by the students. They raised $380. The proceeds were taken to the Brooklyn “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk” and donated to the American Cancer Society. The walk took place for the first time in Coney Island. The start and finish were at The Brooklyn Cyclones Stadium (MCU Park) and the group walked the entire Coney Island Boardwalk between.
PS 380’s students also dedicated efforts to help those in Puerto Rico and Mexico cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the earthquake (respectively). “I came up with the idea because my niece lives in a town in Puerto Rico where she lost everything, and no help has arrived to them as of yet. Also, a majority of our students come from Mexico where the devastation of the earthquake happened,” said Santiago. The collection drive lasted two weeks. The students were separated into groups, and each group was tasked with collecting a needed item: Group 1 – bar soap; Group 2 – toothpaste/toothbrush; Group 3 – deodorant; Group 4 – baby wipes; Group 5 – batteries; Group 6 – hand santizer/hand soap. The 3rd, 4th, and 5th created postcards with positive messages, and the 4th and 5th graders assembled the care packages. The afterschool group leaders discussed elements of the disasters with the students, who were moved to tears, especially those who hadn’t heard about their families in the areas affected. However, channeling their sympathy in to action excited the children with the knowledge that their efforts would help heal the situation. The packages were collected and are being brought to Puerto Rico where they will be delivered in person.