Some Billings middle school students are spending extra time brainstorming a subject not usually taught in school. They are looking for ways to spread a little kindness and make a difference in their community.
This extracurricular activity at Lewis and Clark Middle School is all about helping others. It’s called Care Club.
“I really wanted to make a difference in the community. Something that would actually impact it,” says sixth grader Sarah Flesch.
Every Monday, the students meet after school to plan out ways of doing good.
“We are planning on holding a food drive and then we also want to write letters to veterans. We still want to do more and have more bake sales,” said sixth grader Arianna Villarreal.
The group has also sent letter to children who are in the hospital and helped animal rescue groups.
“They really have some good ideas and they really want to help the community, “said teacher Chris Morales. “There are lot of great kids. Middle schoolers they sometimes get a bad rap, but they are out there helping people and really making a difference.”
This week they donated the proceeds from their latest bake sale, $280, to “Spare Change for Real Change,” an effort by the Downtown Billings Alliance to help with homelessness and addiction.
“It’s really important because that is how you gauge a community, is by how they treat their most vulnerable population. And it’s really exciting to see these kids step to say, hey we want to help these people, because we see the suffering and we want to help as much as we can fix the problem,” said outreach coordinator Kody Christensen-Linton.
The program helps provide funding to several organizations and initiatives in Billings. Christensen-Linton says too often money given in the streets is wasted.
“People are giving to panhandlers. They mean well. But what that usually goes to 90 percent of the time is back to feeding their addiction,” says Chistensen-Linton. “When you donate that two dollars or some change that you have to Spare Change for Real Change, what we do is give back to the services that directly help them.”
The students agreed that raising money and helping others also makes them feel good.
“I just really wanted to improve our world because we only get one,” said Villarreal.