Supplies from empty EACS elementary classrooms donated to healthcare workers

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Unused sanitary supplies from two East Allen Coutny Schools elementary schools will go to benefit Parkview and Heritage Pointe healthcare workers.

Cartfuls of Lysol wipes and bottles of hand sanitizer donated to elementary school classrooms at the beginning of the school year will finish out the semester helping healthcare workers after a one Leo employee was inspired by a Facebook post. It all started when Jen Wieland saw a Facebook post from a healthcare worker asking teachers to donate their leftover sanitizing supplies. As a room parent coordinator for Leo Elementary School and former room parent coordinator for Cedarville Elementary School, she realized she was positioned better than most to make a similar request.

“I already have connections with the teachers at Cedarville and Leo,” said Wieland. “I figured why not reach out to them, just ask the teachers if they’d be willing to donate their extra supplies because they weren’t going to be put to use the rest of the school year.”

Teachers were asked to put any supplies they were willing to donate in front of one of the classrooms. Wieland showed up to Cedarville with a laundry basket and said she was surprised with two cartfuls of supplies. In all, they collected 217 Lysol canisters from Cedarville Elementary, which were donated to Parkview, and another 30 canisters from Leo, which were donated to Heritage Pointe. Several partially used and unopened bottles of hand sanitizer were also donated.

Many of the sanitary supplies were originally donated by the students’ families to help keep the classrooms clean. Lori Fipp, a Cedarville first grade teacher who encouraged her colleagues to donate to the cause, said there she had some initial hesitation about giving up the products but after thinking about it, she felt it was the right thing to do.

“Your initial response is I need to save these for next year, what if they’re not available in the fall, and you feel like you should be hanging on to these but when you think about the people on the frontlines who need them right now, you can’t just leave them in your cabinet and hold on to them. You just have to have a little faith.”

Wieland agrees that a little faith, as well as a willingness to help others, will go a long way in getting the community through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Throughout this whole pandemic, it’s so easy for us to think about ourselves and our immediate families and our world,” said Wieland. “Like Lori, I have a faith that stretches me beyond ourselves. It’s so easy to be selfish and to be so focused on just your present and I’ve been challenged, and I would challenge others, to think outside yourself and your family, and how you can be of help to others.”

The two do not plan on collecting more supplies themselves but said they hope that teachers who do have leftover sanitizing products consider donating them to people who need right now them more than classrooms do.

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