NHS service project benefits children

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Canfield High School seniors Amanda Petro (left) and Amanda Blanco (right) organized a collection of children’s pajamas to be donated to Making Kids Count as their National Honor Society service project during the month of January. Petro and Blanco collected more than 130 pairs of pajamas for infants through 14-year-old children.

By ABBY SLANKER

neighbors@vindy.com

Canfield High School seniors Amanda Petro and Amanda Blanco organized a collection of children’s pajamas to be donated to Making Kids Count as their National Honor Society service project.

Working with Father Terry Hazel of St. Michael’s Church and Children’s Ministry Director Betsy Slater of Old North Church, Petro and Blanco placed drop off boxes at both churches and spoke at masses to inform the community of their service project. The collection ran through the month of January.

Petro and Blanco knew they wanted their service project to benefit children and knew they wanted to partner with Making Kids Count.

“I like working with kids, so I knew I wanted our project to involve kids. I have worked with Making Kids Count in the past and enjoyed working with them, and my cousin Jenny Kennedy is the founder of the organization, so I knew they would be a perfect fit for our project,” Petro said.

“I’ve always liked working with kids, and as our teacher was giving us ideas for service projects and talking about target audiences, I definitely wanted to focus on helping kids,” Blanco said.

Petro and Blanco asked Kennedy what item Making Kids Count were in need of for the children.

“We wanted to choose an item to collect that Making Kids Count would need. They don’t get many pajamas as donations, they get more obvious items like toiletries, so we chose pajamas, which are not as obvious as a donation,” Petro said.

Petro and Blanco collected more than 130 pairs of pajamas for infants through 14-year-old children. They will deliver the pajamas to Making Kids Count in Boardman. The organization will include the pajamas in comfort kits for foster children. The organization makes approximately 800 comfort kits, with the intention of making children comfortable going into a new foster home and for them to have something of their own.

Petro and Blanco both said they were a bit surprised at the response they got when they went to collect the pajamas.

“I was surprised at the great response. And some people even included notes to us saying how happy they were that we were doing this. We hoped it would be as great as it had the potential to be, but we didn’t expect this big of a response. It’s amazing,” Blanco said.

“When we picked up the pajamas, we thought it would just be a quick pick up. Our drop off boxes weren’t that big, but it took us three trips with our arms full to collect the pajamas. It was great. We didn’t think we’d get this great of a response, but we are very happy we did,” Petro said.

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