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Salisbury Academy advisory delivers Valentines, smiles and warm meals

This Valentine’s Day, a group of middle school students from Salisbury Academy shared smiles, Valentines and warm meals in a delivery for Meals on Wheels.

As part of the middle school advisory program in which students meet weekly in small groups to build camaraderie between students and teachers, set goals and build teams, advisory students also carry out community service projects.

“My advisory wanted our focus to be on donating our time and effort as opposed to monetary donations, so that helped us narrow it down to two or three nonprofits,” said teacher and advisory director Kelli Starrett.

As part of the group’s research, Sandy Combs of Meals on Wheels spoke to the advisory about her organization, its needs, who Meals on Wheels serves, and the impact the organization has on the lives of its home-bound clients.

“By the time Sandy left, the students were extremely excited to help,” said Starrett.

The advisory chose Valentine’s Day for their first delivery and made homemade Valentines and sweet treats to deliver along with the meals.

After completing the delivery, the group of students composed of sixth- through eighth-graders walked away feeling the Valentine’s spirit like never before, said Starrett. Not only were the residents appreciative, but the experience of making the Valentines, delivering the meals, and connecting face-to-face with those in need made a great impression on the students, she said.

“I really enjoyed delivering the meals,” said seventh-grader Lucy Heilig. “They were all so welcoming and really nice. Knowing that we were doing good for the community feels great.”

Eighth-grader Kendall Colwell said all the residents were happy to see their group.

Sixth-grader Peyton Hollar said, “Knowing you’re helping people just feels really good.”

Starrett said she is excited about her advisory’s new partnership with Meals on Wheels and that the experience will pair nicely with Tuesday mornings when the students spend time as a group and write in their personal gratitude journals.

“It was a fun outing for our group to bond with fellow advisory members and meal recipients, but even more than that, it was an opportunity to understand on a deeper level just how fortunate we are and how great the need is that exists within our community,” said Starrett.

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