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Students learn importance of giving

About 20 students representing all of the elementary schools in the Oregon City School District decorated and filled shoeboxes with items geared to teen patients at Randall Children’s Hospital.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: SUZ MAUS - Oregon City schoolchildren arrive at Randall Childrens Hospital Jan. 3 with shoeboxes packed full for teen patients.Hearing that the facility in Portland gets a lot of donations for younger patients, the students targeted teens with their shoeboxes Jan. 3 so that older patients didn’t feel left out.

These OC students attend winter kids camp at the Eastham community center on days when school is not in session, but when their parents still need child care.

Gail Hoskins, a district coordinator, said Oregon City Community Education tries to make sure that each day is filled with fun activities and feels like a mini camp. The winter-camp staff decided on this project to help teach the kids about giving to others after a time of year when they’ve been focused on getting.

For this activity, one or two ambassadors from each elementary school went back to their after-school child care sites to ask fellow students to bring in shoeboxes. With donations from Fred Meyer, Grocery Outlet, Portland Winterhawks, Portland Trail Blazers, Dr. Darling Dentisty in Canby, parents, and the campers themselves, they filled the boxes with 20 autographed hockey pucks, new Trail Blazer team posters, bandanas, socks, ChapStick, nail polish, word puzzles, games, Sudoku puzzles and jewelry. Perhaps most poignantly, students also wrote personal cards to put in each box.

“A couple of the kiddos raised their hands when we talked about what we might put in the boxes and asked if they could make something at home to put in the boxes for the kids in the hospital,” Hoskins said. “One student made some rubber-band bracelets, and another made pictures and bead necklaces to put in the boxes.”

Leaders at Oregon City Community Education are now planning to make this an annual activity to teach the importance of giving and helping others. If anyone would like to donate to teens or children of any age, call the Child Life Development Department at Randall Children’s Hospital, 503-413-2200.