Surrounded by fabric and ribbon, students at West Potomac Academy, crafted 'Memory Boxes' for Capital Hospice patients on Wednesday for Valentines Day.
With the help of local organizations, the students gathered enough supplies and cookies to make over 40 boxes, which will be delivered on Monday directly to local hospice patients' homes.
"The people that are getting these are going through something hard," student Caroline Hilbert said. "It means something to me because my father died five years ago, so I can relate. I love art, and I've been covering my box in tons of different fabrics."
Fabric donations from and the West Potomac fashion classroom supplemented students' own material contributions and ensured each box was unique.
"I just really want to help," student Robert Dorsey said. "This counts toward my service hours, and it's a good cause."
Students who volunteered their time earned hours toward a civics seal on their diploma and over a dozen students even worked on their boxes at home.
"I think that this is important. I know people in my friends and family circle that are terminally ill, and I know it'll mean a lot," student Anna-Elyse Schwabacher said. "It's a way of helping them accept they are leaving, but they won't ever be gone."
Local Girl Scout troops number 3836 and 4649 also baked batches of homemade cookies in Bethlehem Baptist Church. Cookies were wrapped in festive Valentine's Day bags and will accompany each box to their final location.
"We're promoting the idea of family love to the students to get them away from boys and girls, candy and flowers, and away from themselves," career experience specialist Maria Kappel said. "Many of the students didn't know a lot about what hospice means, and this was a chance to be exposed to the idea."
Regular hospice volunteers will surprise patients and their families at their homes on Monday, and, according to community outreach coordinator Joy Nguyen, they are excited to make those special deliveries.