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Knicely Done: Madonna students make sack lunches for guests at shelter

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 10:03 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The COVID -19 pandemic has been a disrupting force but in this case, some creative thinking formed a wonderful partnership.

Leaders at Madonna School found a great way to execute their stated mission: “For all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to maximize their God-given potential and thrive as fully included members of the communities in which they learn, work and live.”

A key part of that mission is volunteer work that also enhances a student’s life skills that could help them transition into the community. The pandemic was an obstacle until a discussion with the Siena Francis House led to the Madonna students making sack lunches for the guests at the shelter.

“We were able to do our volunteer work on campus because of COVID restrictions,” explained Madonna Assistant Director of Transition, Darian Stout. “We’ve really been able to learn a lot of soft job skills, working as a team, working with a boss, and coordinating all of this project.”

Three times a week, food supplies are dropped off at the school and the students work in assembly lines making sandwiches and filling sacks with other lunch items. Each student has a job and they’re eager to work.

“It’s fun,” said several students at the same time.

“I feel like it’s really important to give back to others that don’t have like the food they need,” said student Elise Arnold as she stuffed a paper sack with food. “I feel like it’s great that we’re giving back to them.”

It takes just over an hour to prepare all the sack lunches. The students then haul them out to a waiting van for delivery to the Siena Francis House.

“The guests don’t always know where they’re made,” said Tim Sully Siena Francis House Director. “But I was telling them today about it and the guests were touched that Madonna school folks would do this. It’s certainly a win/win program with Madonna. As far as we’re concerned the people that we serve are those most in need and Madonna School is grateful to be part of that.”

Knicely Done!

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