UnityPoint Health Muscatine President Jim Hayes and Foundation Director Holly Thomas-Koehler visited McKinley Elementary School on the morning of Wednesday, May 24. The pair took part in the school’s super start program for the day.

In addition, a special presentation was held by students from Kelly Pedersen’s second grade class.

Justina Kamara, Madelyn Schweizer, and Cara Eichelberger addressed their fellow students along with the visitors. The three students, along with Caleb Gault, make up a reading rotation who accepted the challenge to complete a service project.

The group organized a bake sale to raise money to purchase stuffed animals, toys, and games for children in the hospital.

Pedersen explains, “We were encouraged as a staff to do a service project with our class. This group came to me and said they wanted to help the hospital.”  She says she contacted the hospital on the students’ behalf and sent an email to all of the students’ families requesting items for the bake sale. “Other than the email, since the kids aren’t allowed to use that, they did everything on their own.”

The bake sale was held over two lunch periods, and the students raised over $250.

The group then went shopping to pick the items they would donate.

When asked what their favorite part of the process was, all four answered together, saying, “Helping the kids!”

Pedersen says all the students in the class are excited to continue with more service projects next school year.