Students in the ESC’s Pathways program are giving back to Pickaway County through a community initiative.
The book Wonderwas chosen as this year’s One Book, One Community selection. A book about being kind to others, Heather Foll, community connections coordinator with the Board of Developmental Disabilities, sought help from people and groups to build community cupboards.
Once built, these boxes will hold non-perishable food items, diapers, hygiene products and pet food that are free for the taking. Conversely, community members can add items to the boxes as well. The boxes will be set up at locations throughout the county.
Seth Kellenbarger, who teaches carpentry to about 30 Pathways students from Chillicothe, Circleville and Westfall high schools heard about the project and was eager to take part.
The project is a good fit for his students, who range from seventh to 10th-graders and whose carpentry skills vary. Because of this, he can assign jobs to the students based on their ability.
In addition, Seth appreciates the mission of the boxes.
“I keep pumping up that it’s about community and they think that is cool. One of my kids (from Circleville) said, ‘So I’ll be able to drive by it?’ Students are really excited that they’ll be out in public.”
Sutherland’s donated the necessary materials for six boxes to be made. Seth has committed his students to making three but if he can get more materials, he’d be happy to have his students make more.
Two of the boxes are built and ready for doors and trim, Seth said. “They’re looking real good.”
In addition to Seth’s students, Heather said a 4-H group has committed to make some boxes and several individuals are ready to make some boxes when she gets more kits.
“Everybody is pitching in,” Heather said.
Another element of the initiative can be seen around town in the form of Kindness Cards. The cards encourage people to be nice to one another.
“Sometimes we forget the simple act of being kind to one another,” Heather said. “As simple as making eye contact with someone at the grocery store and saying hello or holding the door for someone.
“It’s part of a movement of kindness that we want to spread into the community.”
People, groups or businesses that would like to have kindness cards can call Heather at (740) 477-3353, Ext. 39, or e-mail her at email@example.com.