As a teacher, Stacie Amber Baldwin said the first thought that came to her mind when she heard Random Acts was focusing on childhood hunger in December was the Sparta RIII School District’s “Care to Learn” program.
This program helps send food home with qualified students and their families to make sure they are not only eating when school is in session, but have meals for the weekend as well. Sure enough, her request for the act was approved, and Stacie was eager to get started.
Care to Learn
With the money that Stacie was granted by Random Acts, she knew she would be able to provide for the students in the Care to Learn program for a month. Stacie contacted local Care to Learn leaders to find out exactly what they needed and where it would go.
Stacie says she ultimately stuck with Sparta’s district because she works there and because it has one of the highest poverty rates in the area, with 60% of students receiving their lunches for free or at a reduced rate.
Because of quantity limits and availability, Stacie brought along her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend to help with the purchases, so they could stock up on protein and meal staples.
“I think the funniest thing that happened was when a case of plastic sauce jars fell out of the back of my car and the jars rolled under different cars in the parking lot,” Stacie said. “If you have never tried to stop 12 jars from rolling uncontrollably, consider yourself lucky!”
Learn to Care
Once they had everything they needed, Stacie was able to meet with the director of the program, who expressed her gratitude for the donation. “She showed me some of the donation areas and they were empty, so this came at a much needed time,” Stacie said. Not to mention winter break was coming up, and that time especially meant an extended need to feed students and families who would be at home.
Stacie expressed how much she enjoyed performing this act and the work that went into it, figuring out exactly how to fulfill the need that the Care to Act program in Sparta had.
“Shopping itself was exhausting!” Stacie confessed. “I was a little sad that these kids do not get more fresh foods, but I also understand that the food has to be something the students can prepare on their own and that keeps well.”
Now more than ever, programs like Care to Learn can use donations for kids that have had to be home for remote learning and for the full summer. To nominate any other such programs in your area for any acts of kindness, check out The Random Acts Support Program (COVID-19).
Stick around if you would like to read more of these Kindness Stories and share them on social media. You never know how one kind act may inspire another.