WRITTEN BY LAUREN COCKRELL
It was a busy a month for the students at Overland Trails Elementary School, and not just in the classroom.
On Sept. 15, 2015, students and Alzheimer’s patients came together in the name of service. Thirteen children and accompanying adults from OTE volunteered at Grace Gardens Manor, an assisted living facility for seniors located in Overland Park, Kan.
The group sat in a large circle to play an interactive and therapeutic game of throwing balloons back and forth. Such activities support an Alzheimer patient’s self-reinforcement and boosts the person’s sense of being in a group.
“The kids were tentative at first as were the residents, but soon the kids were giggling and the residents were smiling and engaging with the children,” OTE community chair Beth Petrikin said. “Each child shook the hand of each resident before we left.”
Half a week later, the students were back out in the community. On September 26, OTE visited Great Plains SPCA, an animal welfare organization in Mission, Kan. that serves more than 35,000 needy pets annually.
“We had a great turnout of 11 kids and 6 adults,” Petrikin said. “We learned about their mission and toured the facility. The kids worked on the ‘sparkle squad,’ cleaning windows throughout the facility. They wrapped up the visit with time for the kids to play with a couple of sweet dogs that needed socialization.”
If you’re interested in having your children’s school volunteer around Kansas City, contact us at [email protected] to sign-up for our community matters program.
IMPACT STATISTICS – SINCE 2013, THE CALL KC HAS HELPED 1,878 VOLUNTEERS COMPLETE 5,157 SERVICE HOURS FOR 56 DIFFERENT CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS.