Keep Loup Basin Beautiful Makes Presentation to Burwell TeamMates Chapter

Amy Hughes, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) Project Coordinator, was invited to present to the Burwell Chapter of the TeamMates Mentoring Program on October 18, 2017 at the morning Mentor Huddle. Hughes was excited to share what KLBB stands for, what it promotes, and give ideas to those in attendance.

Mrs. Hughes began by introducing herself and explaining the, who, what, when, where and why’s of proper recycling practices. Hughes, who focuses much of her energy on education and reuse strategies, shared four hands on reuse projects and spoke on two additional ways mentors can engage mentees in doing beautiful things for their environment.

Hughes showed attendees how to reuse toilet paper and paper towel rolls and an old picture frame to create a brand new, unique piece of wall art. The creation of refrigerator magnets and table coasters out of old, unwanted CD/DVD’s was discussed and shown by Hughes. Mrs. Hughes provided tools on how to make paper beads out of old newspapers, magazines, etc. and explained the process. Even the repurposing of K-cups from Keurig coffee makers was shown and discussed by Hughes.

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Keep Loup Basin Beautiful Visits Calamus Kids Pre-School for “E” Week!

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“E” week at Calamus Kids Pre-school in Burwell is an “E”xciting, “E”xceptional, and “E”ducational week where the classes get to learn about an important “E”nvironmental component when Amy Hughes, KLBB Project Coordinator, visits to talk about “E”ntomology!!! Mrs. Hughes spends 30 minutes with each class talking about what Entomology and/or an Entomologist is and does.

The youth get to see first-hand preserved insect specimens that Mrs. Hughes has collected over the years. Many of the youth are amazed at the number of insects and ask a ton of questions in regards to what each insect is and also comment on which ones are their favorites. The butterflies are always a hit with many youth being able to identify the Monarch butterfly right away!!!

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Eleven Bicycles Traveled to Lincoln Thanks to Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB)

Bicycles collected from environmentally conscious and generous area individuals made their way to Lincoln, NE, on Sunday, October 15, 2017. A total of 11 bicycles were loaded into the back of a pickup, secured down, and endured the bumpy three hour ride to the home of Gary Hughes of Lincoln. Upon arrival the bicycles were unloaded, evaluated, and Gary’s hands began performing their magic.

Monday afternoon nine of the bikes were ready for new owners and were taken to First Presbyterian Church. Within 30 minutes three bikes found new owners. Some of the bikes were rode to their new homes while others were placed lovingly into a vehicle for transport. The new recipients were very thankful for such a wonderful gift.

The Bicycle Recycle and Safety Program, which the bicycles are being collected for, is entering into its second month of existence and has already prevented over 40 bicycles from entering area landfills and rather entering the hearts and homes of new owners after some simple tender, love and care. Anyone interested in donating a bicycle for recycle/reuse/refurbishment purposes is invited to drop them off 24/7 at the Loup Basin RC&D Office at 330 South Hwy 11, Burwell, NE 68823. The Bicycle Recycle & Safety Program is a continual program meaning bicycles are welcome at any time!!!

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Keep Loup Basin Beautiful Awarded Plants for National Planting Day

Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) was chosen, out of many applicants, to be a recipient of plants by Dickinson’s Witchhazel and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) for National Planting Day. National Planting Day was officially September 9, 2017, however, planting events are welcome to be held throughout the month of September. KLBB was notified September 5, 2017 that their pollinator garden plants were being shipped for the event!!

The Bud’s and Blooms Garden Club met September 12, 2017 and volunteered to plant the four plant species (Hamamelis virginiana, Viburnum dentatum, Asclepias tuberosa, and Phlox maculata) at the Loup River Scenic Byway Interpretive Center. Club members present included Sonja Wagner, Jessica Petersen and Amy Hughes. KLBB extends a big THANK YOU to Dickinson Witchhazel and Keep America Beautiful for choosing KLBB as a recipient of these wonderful plants and to those volunteers that helped get the awarded plants into the ground. These plants are all extremely pollinator friendly and will be a great addition to the already established pollinator garden at the Interpretive Center.

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Keep Loup Basin Beautiful Bicycle Recycle & Safety Program Gives New Life to Bikes

Old, broken, unwanted bicycles are receiving a new chance at life through the Bicycle Recycle & Safety Program offered by Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB). Bicycles donated or rescued for the program get a face lift thanks to Gary Hughes of Lincoln, NE.

Mr. Hughes and wife, Lynne, visit Burwell regularly to visit family, Ben, Amy & Breon Hughes and the bicycles collected in between visits travel back to Lincoln with them. It is in Mr. Hughes’ “workshop” where he performs his magic, making them ride-able again. Mr. Hughes takes parts from bicycles that are unfixable and uses them to refurbish those that just need some T.L.C.   “Some bicycles do not need much of anything other than cleaned up” states Mr. Hughes. Following their time with Mr. Hughes the bicycles travel to the First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln where any youth who would like a bike, but cannot afford one, are offered the opportunity to call one their own.

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NEW DATE for K-Cup Reuse Workshop Offered by Keep Loup Basin Beautiful

Hey coffee drinkers!!! Ever wonder what other use the Keurig cups (K-cups) possibly have? Well Amy Hughes, Project Coordinator with Keep Loup Basin Beautiful has found some and is excited to share one of them with everyone on August 30, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Loup River Scenic Byway Interpretive Center.

Adults and youth are all invited to the rescheduled K-Cup Reuse Workshop!!! At the workshop participants will learn how to create their own bouquet of forever flowers out of K-cups, paint, straws and construction paper. A $5.00 donation made payable to the Loup Basin RC&D Council is suggested for supplies as all supplies will be provided!!!

Participants will also receive the new 2017 Recycle Guide and be provided the opportunity to view the recycling trailers and semi-trailer and have any questions answered.

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Clothing Closet In Burwell Impacts the World!

The Clothing Closet served 555 people in 2016. Seven thousand pounds of clothing was donated, nine counties were served, and adult and youth volunteers gave of their time 112 times.

Clothing that is not used, is donated to the Burwell Assembly of God Youth Ministries project “Toss Box”.  Pastor, Dave Busch and his family pick up the unused clothing and transport it to Grand Island where it is collected by the semi-load and delivered to the People’s City Mission recycling center in Lincoln and it is separated into three categories.  The best clothes and shoes are made available to the homeless, the next cut goes to third world countries and the least usable go to industrial firms where they are processed into other products.  The products going to the industrial markets are sold with the funds going to the church’s mission projects. Each semi trailer load usually brings in about $3,000.00.

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CD/DVD Coaster Creation Recycle Workshop Offered by Keep Loup Basin Beautiful

Area residents are invited to participate in a new, fun, and exciting workshop where they get to use their creativity The workshop will be held on July 19, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Loup Rivers Scenic ByWay Interpretive Center, 330 S Hwy 11, Burwell, NE 68823. Participants will learn how to create one-of-a-kind table coasters out of old CD/DVD’s that would otherwise end up in our area landfills. The workshop provides any age the ability to make something that will blend with their home décor, bedroom décor, or even a friends décor as a gift. All supplies will be provided for the event with a $5.00 donation to the Loup Basin RC&D. Please come and take advantage of a fun activity where reducing waste, reusing common household items, and recycling unwanted items is the focus. Participants will also learn about the recycle trailers, semi-trailer, and also receive a 2017 KLBB Recycle Guide. To register for the event please call 308-346-3393 or email Amy Hughes, KLBB Project Coordinator at

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The Burwell Clothing Closet expands its services!

The Clothing Closet located at the First Christian Church in Burwell is expanding its services to those who would like to utilize the clothing closet but cannot travel or would simply like a new outfit picked out for you and delivered to your door.

The needs from community members that wanted to utilize the Clothing Closet but were asking for additional help, gave Burwell Jr. Sr. High School student, Hallee Mann whom has been volunteering at the Burwell Clothing Closet, the idea to expand its services.  You can reach Halle by calling Kathy Mann, Clothing Closet Coordinator, at 308-214-0798 to place an order and to discuss your clothing needs. Hallee will shop the Clothing Closet for you to find just what you want. Kathy and Halle will deliver clothing to you and they will return items that you don’t want to keep or that you wish to donate to the Clothing Closet.

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Students at Arcadia Summer School Learn about Pollinators and Environmental Stewardship

Twenty students participating in the Summer School Program at Arcadia have been learning about many aspects of technology and the environment. On June 22, 2017, Amy Hughes, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) Project Coordinator, was invited by staff to share the importance of pollinators and how environmental stewardship plays an integral role in their survival and success.

Hughes provided interactive, hands-on activities that the youth participated in and also provided her insect collection for viewing. Following introductions and sharing of definitions and fun “who is a pollinator?” discussions, youth participated in an activity where they got to pretend to be a pollinator visiting flowers and collecting and dispersing pollen. The activity provided youth with the understanding that pollination is plant species specific and that successful pollination requires an adequate number of flowers present to ensure “fruit” production.

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Paper Bead Workshop Offered By Keep Loup Basin Beautiful

Amy Hughes, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) Project Coordinator, invites adults and youth to come and join the fun of creating paper beads that can be used to make unique jewelry or add “pop” to those special accessories on, Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Loup Rivers Scenic Byway Interpretive Center, 330 S Hwy 11, in Burwell. Five different challenging bead shapes will be investigated and created.

Participants will learn how to reuse magazines to create these new, fun, and creative items, get to be the first to utilize the new paper bead making machines, learn about proper recycling practices, receive the “new” 2017 Recycle Guide, and get a list of upcoming KLBB Educational Projects and Programs.

The beads created at this workshop are eligible to be exhibited in 4-H at Fair. Participants are asked to bring magazines with colorful pictures or fun patterns, scissors, toothpicks, Elmer’s glue and most importantly your imagination.

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Hughes Introduces Paper and CD/DVD Recycling Ideas to Loup County School Youth

Amy Hughes, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) Project Coordinator visited Loup County Schools 3rd-6th grades March 24, 2017. Hughes was invited to share recycling/repurposing ideas with the classes from Mrs. Marie Gumb and Mrs. Lexie Wurst.

Students in grades 3rd and 4th created “new” Ladybug CD/DVD’s out of old, unusable CD/DVD’s. The youth were very excited to use the creative side of their brain and enjoyed the process of reusing something to make a new, bright and fun Spring object for their room. Students in grades 5th and 6th learned how to reuse different paper products, such as newspaper and magazines, to create beads in five different shapes. The students learned that the process is not as easy as they though and takes teamwork and patience. The youth had fun using the bead making wands and were trying to decide what they wanted to make with them once dried. In total Hughes introduced 25 students to a new, creative, reuse way of thinking about everyday use items.

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Keep Loup Basin Beautiful Offers Recycled Wall Art Workshop

Amy Hughes, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) Project Coordinator, invites you to attend a recycled wall art workshop on, Monday, June 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Loup Rivers Scenic ByWay Interpretive Center, 330 S Hwy 11, in Burwell. Participants will create a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork that can be displayed proudly in their house or room while learning about recycling practices, receive the “new” 2017 Recycling Guide, and obtain a list of upcoming 2017 KLBB Educational Projects and Programs.

Participants are asked to bring a cutting matt, rotary cutter, cutting square or ruler, toilet paper/paper towel rolls, a picture frame without glass, picture backing, glue, paper clips, small binder clips, or clothespins and their imagination. This workshop is a fun and creative project that young and old can enjoy. It is a great project to do with your kids and/or grandkids with supervision and assistance. The workshop is open to adults and youth and is FREE. Youth who choose to attend may enter their finished project in Fair if they choose.

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United Methodist Women Learn About The Importance Of Environmental Stewardship On Pollinators

Amy Hughes, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) Project Coordinator, visited the Burwell United Methodist Women on May 3, 2017, and shared her passion of the environment and pollinators. Hughes presented on, “The Importance of Pollinators” and related the information to our environmental practices. The information was shared with around thirty women from around the area following a wonderful salad supper.

Audience members learned about the pollination process, pollinators, and why it is important. Hughes gave examples of what a pollinator is and how and what plant species are best suited for certain pollinators and why. Pollinator gardening was also discussed and the many options for plant and garden size were stated.

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Auble’s Pond & Dane Creek Clean-up Successful But Your Continued Help Is Needed!!

A great group of environmental stewards met at Auble’s Pond and Dane Creek on Saturday, May 13, 2017, for the same reason. The goal…to clean up and preserve the area at and around Auble’s Pond and Dane Creek as part of the 2017 Great American Cleanup “Clean Your Block Party” theme. Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB), a Keep America Beautiful (KAB) Affiliate, is proud of the work done at this event. Dr. Crystal Ramm and Ryan Broker put many hours of organization, permissions, and communication into making this clean-up day a reality and deserve a big THANK YOU for taking the time and having the passion to maintain the beauty that the area possesses.

The group of fourteen stewards, youth and adults side by side, performed multiple tasks the day of the clean-up. Some used grabbers to circle Auble’s Pond and clean up debris and trash that had made its way into the pond while others focused on the removal of brush and trees in and along Dane Creek. All participants then converged onto Dane Creek and began the large task of pulling cement, tires, trash, metal, and even a bike out of the creek. After four hours of intense cleaning the group called it a day with a large dent put into the entire task.

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Burwell Clothing Closet Impacts the World

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who has donated to the Clothing Closet in Burwell and to all of the volunteers who have put in many hours to make it function efficiently so that people can utilize its services.

The Clothing Closet served 555 people in 2016. Seven thousand pounds of clothing was donated, nine counties were served, and adult and youth volunteers gave of their time 112 times.

Clothing that is not used is donated to the Assembly of God Toss Box. Dave Busch and his family pick up the unused clothing and transport it to Grand Island where it is collected by the semi-load and delivered to the Lincoln People’s City Mission recycling center. Once it reaches the center, it is baled into 1000 pound bales and transported by the semi-load to Texas, Florida, and Canada. From there, the clothing travels to Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Africa. The clothing is used by people in these countries to wear and to sell in markets for income. So you can see that a mission that starts in Burwell by you extends to other cities, states, and countries. None of it goes to waste. Clothing that is not used is recycled into yarn, rags, and stuffing for chairs and car seats.

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Toss Box Mission Project

By Lawrence Johnson

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What: Speed the Light Toss Box.
Where: At the northeast corner of the square in Burwell.
When: The door is always open.
Why: To collect donated clothing and shoes.
Who: The Burwell Assemblies of God Youth Ministry project.

Ever wondered where your donations to the toss box go?

Recently Toby Schneckloth, the Nebraska Youth Minister of the Assemblies of God church was in Burwell to load donations made to the Toss Box. Schneckloth said, “Everything gets used. All the donations go to the Peoples City Mission in Lincoln and go into three categories. The best clothes and shoes are made available to the homeless, the next cut goes to third world countries and the least usable go to industrial firms where they are processed into other products.”   The products going to the industrial markets are sold with the funds going to the church’s mission projects. Each semi trailer load usually brings in about $3,000. The total amount allocated from the Burwell church in 2016 was $1,125, in January 2016 alone, $610 was raised for Speed the Light.

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Auble’s Pond and Dane Creek Clean-up

Dr. Crystal Ramm and Ryan Broker along with Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) invite area residents and visitors to participate in a fun and gratifying project on May 13, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Dr. Ramm and Mr. Broker worked diligently to plan a “clean-up” day along Auble’s Pond and Dane Creek, in Ord, which will beautify it even farther for area residents and visitors and would love your assistance!!

The plan for the morning includes picking up general trash, brush and debris from the creek bed and around the pond so please dress accordingly with muck boots and protective clothing. KLBB is excited to provide gloves, grabbers, and trash bags for the event along with immense support to anyone interested in such activities.

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BRAND NEW 2017 Recycle Guide Now Available

The BRAND NEW 2017 Recycle Guide is now available.  The guide is being distributed across our 13 county region so look for it at the following businesses.

Union Bank & Trust Company, 410 4th St
Marah’s Treasures, Origin of the “Taylor Villagers” 308.214.0847

Innovative Designs, 501 W Main
First National Bank, 315 W Main
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Hughes Speaks to Loup Trail Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution

On Saturday, March 9, 2017, the Loup Trail Chapter of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution (DAR) invited Amy Hughes, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) Project Coordinator to speak to them about Pollinators and Environmental Stewardship. Hughes opened the meeting asking attendees, “What they knew about pollination?” A variety of responses and a lively discussion ensued. Hughes then moved into describing what pollination is, how pollination occurs, what a pollinator is and does, and why they are important. Examples of pollinators were given and pollinator garden requirements were discussed. The presentation was very interactive with questions on, “How to preserve your plants without using insecticides?” and “What is bloom set?”

Hughes also spoke to the group on the roles humans play in proper environmental stewardship and conservation of natural resources. The relationship between pollinator importance and conservation was also discussed and what humans can do to aid in conservation of the land, animals, different species, and the environment around them. Discussion on the populations of the Monarch Butterfly, Regal Fritillary, and Bees were used as examples of how human activities can have negative effects. Hughes then discussed how litter can have an adverse impact on the environment and why it is important to reduce, reuse and recycle to ensure that unwarranted items do not end up in the landfill or other areas that could cause harm to pollinators. Continue reading

KLBB Promotes Recycling in Loup County School Through Fun CD/DVD Reuse Activity

Amy Hughes, Project Coordinator for Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) was invited by Marie Gumb, Sally Hart, Ashley Klanecky, and Lexy Wurst to share with Loup County School students over the 2017 spring semester the reuse activities she had designed using CD/DVD’s. On February 13, 2017, Amy visited the Pre-K (Mrs. Klanecky) and Kindergarden-2nd (Mrs. Hart) classrooms at Loup County School and shared the CD/DVD reuse activity. In total, fifteen students (6 Pre-K and 9 K-2nd) got to participate.

Mrs. Klanecky did some research and found some fun Valentine patterns that students could use to create Valentine’s Day “cards”. The students created owls or fish using a CD/DVD, glue, glitter and paper. The amount of creativity and excitement that the kids showed was amazing.   They were so excited to get to make something fun that they could use as a gift for someone else.

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Rose Youth Learn the Connection Between Environmental Stewardship and Pollinators

On February 7, 2017, Amy Hughes, Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) Project Coordinator, traveled to Rose, NE to speak with youth at the Rose Community School. Shelli Spencer, Teacher Grades 5-8, asked Hughes to speak to her classes on the importance of pollination.

Hughes took the presentation one step farther and incorporated how human actions can have an extreme impact on the environment. Hughes had Ms. Spencer and the five students participate in a pollination activity. They had to visit different flowers where they collected and deposited pollen. The process of pollination was then discussed and how each species of flower has to be pollinated by the same species to ensure the production of a new and viable “fruit”. Teacher and youth also participated in an activity which require them to read descriptions of certain plants and certain pollinators and decide which were “a match”. This activity taught the youth about plant selection by pollinators. Youth also learned that there are different types of pollination and that the types of pollinators entails a long list. The final activity Hughes provided for the teacher and students was: “What Foods Require Pollination & Which Do Not?” Hughes provided several types of foods, seasonings, and drinks for the students to choose from. Through discussion, the students did a very nice job of determining that all foods require pollination. They even thought deeper and deciphered as to why all foods require pollination. An example was milk. Why would milk be a result of pollination? The students answer was because milk comes from cows, and cows eat plants, and certain plants require pollination to reproduce and survive.

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Hughes Attends 2017 National Keep America Beautiful Conference

“E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many One” was the motto of the 2017 Keep America Beautiful Conference held in Washington D.C., January 24-26, 2017. Amy Hughes, Project Coordinator for Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB), was selected to attend the conference for the KAB Affiliate. The motto for the 2017 conference was resonated over and over throughout the three day conference through speakers and activities being focused around the work that all affiliates of Keep America Beautiful do to reach their common goals to end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities.

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Keep Loup Basin Beautiful provides fun CD/DVD Recycling Activity to Central Valley Elementary School Students

By Lisa Fischer

SCOTIA — Central Valley Elementary School (CVES) students in grades K-3 had a one of kind recycling experience at school on Jan. 20.

Amy Hughes and Mary Hughes, Project Coordinators of Keep Loup Basin Beautiful (KLBB) began leading CVES students in a Recycled CD/DVD Art project that requires damaged CD or DVDs, colored paper, scissors, string and rubber cement to complete last Friday after lunch. In 45-minute intervals the pair led every student through the project Amy developed about three months ago during her first time testing it out on students. In fact, she heard positive responses from the students regarding the craft project and was pleased to note their understanding of why recycling is important.

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Our goal at Keep Loup Basin Beautiful is to reduce, reuse and recycle as many items as possible to keep them from ending up in our local landfills. With that thought in mind Mary Hughes, KLBB Project Coordinator, looked for ways to reduce the number of bicycle tires that were being dumped into our landfills around our 13-county KLBB region. Hughes found that one way to reduce the number was to recycle the tires into belts, bracelets and dog leashes.

“There are many different tread patterns, thicknesses and sizes to make a huge variety of these items. The dog leashes are very strong but yet flexible and comfortable to hold. The belts and bracelets vary in width, pattern and thickness making each one very unique and one of a kind,” explains Hughes.

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Bedtime Bags And Kits For Kids

The idea of ‘Bedtime Bags’ and ‘Kits for Kids’ came about through a conversation with a concerned gentleman who worked with foster children placements. He expressed his concern for these kids, who many times were placed in a foster home with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing, or the few possessions they did have were packed in a trash bag. He didn’t want these kids to think they were nothing more than ‘trash’. So I told him I would see what I could do to help.

With word-of-mouth and the help of social media, the information was put out to anyone who had extra backpacks, suitcases and duffel bags. Our pleas for help were well-answered! The backpacks, suitcases and duffel bags came pouring into our office. Hughes commented, “It’s wonderful how generous the public was to our cause. Their donations exceeded my expectations many times over!” We also asked for donations of personal care products such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, body wash and body lotion to add to our bags. “That request was met with the same great generosity as our first request for help” stated Hughes. “We also had donations of puzzles, books, gently used personal throws, blankets, quilts, small stuffed animals and small toys. We can add these age appropriate items to the bags or kits.” Continue reading