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#misdliveskind: Wilmeth Families Donate 2,200 Bag Lunches to Help Those in Need

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Families at Wilmeth recently bought the supplies for and bagged more than 2,000 brown bag lunches for homeless individuals and families served by the Samaritan Inn.

Families at Wilmeth recently bought the supplies for and bagged more than 2,000 brown bag lunches for homeless individuals and families served by the Samaritan Inn.

McKinney, Texas – The messages—written on brown lunch bags adorned with bright stickers and colorful drawings—conveyed simple, heartfelt sentiments: “Have a nice day!”—“We love you!”—“Smile!”

For the recipients, that last message may be a tough one to put into practice from day to day.

But, the kids from Wilmeth Elementary and their families have been doing their part to help change that by packing some 2,200 bag lunches for the Samaritan Inn. Wilmeth calls it their Brown Bag of Love Project.

Wilmeth fifth-grader Courtney Williams (left) helps younger students pack brown bag lunches during Wilmeth’s Brown Bag of Love service project to donate to the Samaritan Inn.

“In collaboration with our PTO, we wanted to take Wilmeth’s spirit of kindness to the next level,” said Principal Kristin Ellis. “So, we brought our entire school community together with an after-school outreach program. The Brown Bag of Love event was created and sponsored by the Wilmeth PTO in order to teach and model the importance of serving others.”

The Samaritan Inn itself has set a high bar for that concept. The charitable organization has provided shelter and other vital services to homeless individuals and families for decades in McKinney with a mission to help them gain dignity and independence. In 2017, the organization served 577 residents.

About a third of them were children.

male student holding bags in front of bottled water

Wilmeth students move through a long line, filling lunch bags with food and water to donate to the Samaritan Inn in McKinney.

That fact compelled Wilmeth fifth grader Enzo Lira to get involved in the after school project on Nov. 7 as his family and other Wilmeth families gathered in the school’s gym to pack lunches for the Samaritan Inn residents. All of the supplies were purchased through Wilmeth donations.

“Whenever I was little, I thought that everyone had a home,” Enzo said, “and that there was no such thing as homelessness. Until I noticed it one day. I saw that it’s hard. People lose their homes, and it’s sad because some of them have children. And, it’s hard for them because sometimes they can’t go to school and they don’t have food to eat and they can’t do things that other people get to do.”

at table with other boys drawing on a lunch bag

Wilmeth fifth-grader Enzo Lira decorates a lunch bag during the Wilmeth Brown Bag of Love service project that donated some 2,200 brown bag lunches to the Samaritan Inn.

Enzo sat at a table, decorating lunch bags and then moved through a long line of volunteers to fill the bags with the simple essentials of a lunch. The only piece not provided was a sandwich, which the Samaritan Inn will take care of as they distribute the bags.

Fellow fifth-grader Courtney Williams was there because she hoped that the families that received the lunches would feel loved. “I feel like everyone needs a chance,” she said. “And, I feel like this is what we can do to help out our community by making lunches for other people who are maybe a little bit less fortunate. I feel like it’s really important that we do this for the community…because we’re all the same, and we should all be treated fairly. And, I hope they just feel appreciated and loved.”

reaching out to shake hand of male student

McKinney ISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel greets students and their families during Wilmeth’s Brown Bag of Love service project on Nov. 7, 2019.

McKinney Mayor George Fuller and his wife Maylee Thomas-Fuller stopped by to lend a hand to the effort. “You know, getting kids engaged after school for something that’s so important in the community and helping other people…I love the fact that they have the MISD Lives Kind program,” Fuller said. “We talked about that today at State of the City, and these children are our future. They are our greatest resource, and I’m happy that they are engaged like this.”

boy picking up chips out of a box in a line

Students and their families fill bags with the makings of a brown bag lunch to donate to the Samaritan Inn.

The staff of the Samaritan Inn were overwhelmed by Wilmeth’s goodwill gesture when they came by to pick up the lunch bags and saw the number that had been collected.

“Over-the-top and simply spectacular—that’s the only way to describe the kindness and generosity of the students and staff at Wilmeth Elementary,” said Samaritan Inn CEO Rick Crocker. “They blessed the Samaritan Inn and our residents with over 2,200 sack lunches—each one packed with love and each bag beautifully decorated with words of encouragement. When you look up the word ‘kindness’ in the dictionary, you’ll find Wilmeth Elementary in the definition.”

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If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

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