Written By: Ashleigh Lowery, PharmD ’11, School of Pharmacy Alumnus
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Helping Hands stories authored by School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, students, trainees, and alumni who stepped up to assist their family and friends, colleagues, and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The past fall, some friends and I launched The Kindness Pantry, an initiative that facilitates support of teachers and students across Howard County through the donation of supplies and snacks.
Our initiative normally communicates directly with schools to determine their needs. We use that information to create an Amazon wish list that community members can view and select items to buy and ship directly to the school. To date, this initiative has helped students at 21 schools.
With the closure of schools due to COVID-19 and the transition to at-home learning, we had to shift our approach. To support elementary students learning at home, we developed a list of supplies and set a goal of preparing 200 kits of essential school supplies that school principals or guidance counselors can provide to students at food distribution sites throughout the county.
After many generous contributions (plus a busy delivery person and many recycled shipping boxes), we exceeded that goal and assembled a total of 250 kits! Each kit contains paper, a notebook, pencils, a sharpener, an eraser, crayons, and a snack. We hope that these kits will support and inspire students to succeed during at-home learning.
As a mom, I look forward to the day that students can safely return to school, but am thankful for the chance to play a small part in supporting students during these unprecedented circumstances.