Fulton Middle School Jobs for America's Graduates students are collecting donations of fleece blanket kits, luggage and backpacks to comfort fellow children in need.
"We've been creating JAG bags for the people that don't have homes or stuff like that," sixth-grader Elijah Harmon said. "We put shampoo, toiletries and stuff to keep you hands warm when it's cold."
In the JAG class, students were tasked with coming up with a community project. After some brainstorming, the students — in sixth, seventh and eighth grades — decided to put together bags of toiletries and other supplies.
The bags were distributed to teachers and parents to keep in their car to hand out if they see someone in need. Now, the students are working on phase two of their project.
"The sixth, seventh and eighth grade classes, when we talked about community projects and people in need, came up with the idea that maybe kids who are going into foster care aren't always able to take their things, " JAG specialist Meg Plybon said. "They wanted to make sure they have a bag, and they thought a blanket would be a nice thing for them to have whether they're a boy or girl, young or old."
The JAG program aims to help students reach academic and economic success.
"We use this program for discovering who we are and what we can do," sixth-grader Kenny Swain said. "JAG helps us develop different skills and career opportunities later on in life."
The students are asking for donations of personal care items, fleece no-sew tie blanket kits, backpacks and luggage. They are using the kits to make blankets.
These bags and blankets will be given to children going through the foster care system or in need of comfort.
"We'll also be working with Girls Town to supply some of their needs," Plybon said.
To advertise their efforts, the JAG students put together fliers, videos and social media posts.
Eighth-grader Gwen Austin said they put together 50 JAG bags for the first part of their project and have 30 blankets and bags collected so far for the second part.
Swain said his favorite part of the JAG program is getting to help other people.
"It feels good to give to others and just knowing that you're helping someone else," he said.
The program also plans to sell T-shirts to support community projects.
"The money that we raise goes back to community projects," Austin said.
Donations can be dropped off at Fulton Middle School or by calling 573-590-8209.