Full Service Westside

All of Madison Elementary School’s fifth-grade students have a passion for helping animals in need. In December of 2018, they held a supply drive to collect items for the Muscatine Humane Society. When Stephanie Zillig, their principal, heard about the Jack Grants, she encouraged the fifth-grade teachers to apply for one. For their dedication to their cause, Madison Elementary School’s fifth-grade students received $250 to allow them to continue supporting the Muscatine Humane Society.
The Iowa Association of Realtors started the Project Jack Grants five years ago to honor Jack Lindaman, a boy from the Quad Cities who passed away at the age of six from spinal muscular atrophy. To receive a Jack Grant, students in fourth or fifth grade must submit a proposal for a project that helps Iowans or an Iowa charity in need. When Zillig shared this information, Jillian Poppe, one of Madison Elementary School’s fifth-grade teachers, knew a Jack Grant would work perfectly for the fifth-grade students’ desire to support the Humane Society. “When I saw the grant opportunity, I thought of it as another way for them to give back to our community and extend their previous community service project,” Poppe explained.
The students could not agree more. Nick shared that he thought the Muscatine Humane Society could benefit from their donations, “because they might run out of money and need help with getting stuff for the animals.” His classmate, Mia, agreed, adding, “they need help with all of the animals . . .. [because] they have a lot of them.”
With their Jack Grant secured, the Madison Elementary School fifth graders took the time to order cleaning supplies, office supplies, cat and dog food, collars, leashes, and toys for the Muscatine Humane Society on Thursday, March 7th. The following Tuesday, once their donation items arrived, the Madison Elementary School fifth graders presented them to the Muscatine Humane Society and helped load them up to go to the shelter.
The Muscatine Humane Society also appreciated their generosity. Chris McGinnis, Director of the Muscatine Humane Society, stated, “right now, we are housing 150 cats and sixty-five dogs. I recently purchased nine sixteen-pound bags of cat food, which will last us one week. All of these supplies that people donate to us [represent] money that we don’t have to take out of our operating budget [and] may be better used for spaying or neutering, or for an animal that’s been injured. . .. We’re just so grateful when kids do this. It’s really, really helpful.”
Through the generosity of the Project Jack Grants, Madison’s fifth graders had an opportunity to help give back to their community. The initiative they showed in applying for the grant and in purchasing and presenting their supplies to the Muscatine Humane Society shows that even the youngest Muscatine residents want to improve their community and pay it forward.

Full Service Westside