Home Youth empowerment Young ambassadors create care packages for students with precarious housing

Young ambassadors create care packages for students with precarious housing

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Youth Ambassadors gather to pack bags with food, school supplies and toiletries for students with unstable housing at the Columbus Learning Center in Columbus, Indiana on Monday, September 20, 2021. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

COLUMBUS, Ind. – A project to provide supplies to local students with unstable housing is expected to produce around 100 care kits – and it all started with two high school students.

Youth Ambassadors from the Council for Youth Development gathered at the Columbus Learning Center this week to create these packages. The project was led by two ambassadors: Brynn Stewart, sophomore from Columbus North High School and Lillia Stidam, senior from Columbus East High School.

Brynn said their original goal was to create 48 care packages, but now they plan to do around 100.

“They have far exceeded the target,” said Youth Empowerment Coordinator Sara Donathen-Smith, who participated in the project. “It’s pretty amazing.”

About 3,400 items were donated for the project, she said. According to Lillia, the articles came from students and staff at Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. Donathen-Smith added that more items will be purchased through grants.

The 96 kits are at “some stage” of assembly, she said. The team hopes to complete this work soon and start delivering the packages.

Most of the packages will go to the “homeless and unsecured” youth of the BCSC, said Lillia. She added that about one in 20 students belong to this group.

For the full story, see Republic of Friday.

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Jana Wiersema is a journalist for La République. She can be reached at 812-379-5625 or [email protected]