Madison students give to Muscatine Center for Social Action

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Though students at Madison Elementary may choose to get involved with many clubs and activities, one group of sixth grade students, the Lunch Bunch, has dedicated themselves to making their community a better place for everyone. For their first project of the year, the students held a craft fair and raised $550.85 for the Muscatine Center for Social Action’s homeless shelter.

A student led initiative, the Lunch Bunch members brainstormed among themselves what they should do for their first project. Aubrey Horchem remembered how well a craft fair she helped with at Colorado Elementary School had done, and the other students though it sounded like a good idea too. “The last time we did a craft fair, it raised a lot of money,” she shared. “This time, we chose to give it to the homeless.”

To prepare for the craft fair, students made a variety of creative items to sell. Ashley Smith made color changing Play-Dough, Wyatt Kirby and Angelo Waters created their own comic books, and Aubrey and one of her friends made hair clips and bows, holiday bookmarks, picture frames, decorated paper clips, and bracelets. Other students also contributed hand made gnomes and other fun items to the sale as well. The Sweet Honey Candle Company of Iowa donated some candles for the students to sell as well. During the two nights of parent teacher conferences and one day during school, the students sold their creations to parents, teachers, and other students.

Madison’s Lunch Bunch presenting the money raised from their craft fair to Muscatine Center for Social Action Executive Director Scott Dahlke. Back row: Carly Huot, Aubrey Horchem, Ashely Smith, Angelo Waters,and Scott Dahlke. Front row: Wyatt Kirby, Harper White, Radhika Chaudhari, Brayden Walker, Wyatt Boysel, and Adrian Martinez. Photo by Margaret Hurlbert.

The students took pride in their donation and feel glad that they could help others in their community lead better lives. “It’s just our thing really,” said Wyatt. “Everyone can get the help, and if they need it, they can call us,” he added, welcoming other local organizations to share their needs with the club.

Oct. 20, Muscatine Center for Social Action Executive Director Scott Dahlke visited the Lunch Bunch to accept their donation and talk about all the services Muscatine Center for Social Action offers, such as shelter for individuals and families experiencing homelessness; a food pantry; medical, dental, and mental healthcare services; and assistance for domestic violence survivors. He also invited the club to come tour their facilities if they like. Dahlke welcomed the donation and commended the students for their thoughtfulness in deciding where their donation should go. “I’m really, really impressed by you guys,” he said: “A lot of kids don’t think about giving money to people in need. The future is in good hands.”

Throughout the school year, the Lunch Bunch meets weekly to plan for and carry out different service projects and fundraisers and to decide which regional non-profits to donate to. For their next project, the students plan to hold a toy drive for the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics’ Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

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