April 15, 2010
Fourth-graders Madison and Brooke Crouch proposed the name Helping Hands, but say it was their mom, Jennifer Locasale-Crouch, who made it happen. Today, it's people who need a smile and the kids who want to make it happen that keeps Helping Hands going.
The halls are empty and the school day is over, but inside the teacher's lounge at Murray Elementary, there are compassionate kids working on a colorful project.
"Any person who likes purple or any of the colors that I chose, it doesn't matter who gets it as long as someone gets it and they like it," said fifth-grader, Stephanie Cornell.
Cornell and the Helping Hands are pushing plant stems, fitting in all the flowers they can. Most of the flower arrangements will be delivered to senior citizens at the Martha Jefferson House. However, one won't make it in the box for next week's delivery.
"This one is for our janitor. He's got cancer. There was one extra and I wanted to make it for him," said Madison Crouch.
"When you give a gift, you're just helping someone and you're making them feel very special," added Aaron Martinez.
Jennifer Locasale-Crouch says working with kids is a warm reminder of how good-natured people can be.
"To look around and see all ages in this room, everyone smiling and wanting to pitch in, it makes me feel good about the future of our next generation," she said.
The kids say there's only one requirement: you have to like helping people. These children and their helping hands show there's nothing artificial about this week's heroes.