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09:42 AM

Kansas City Star: Raymore-Peculiar High School senior gives back to sick kids, one happy bag at a time

By Beth Lipoff

The sudden change in school circumstances has sent a lot of people scrambling to adjust. Raymore-Peculiar High School senior Megan Allen has taken it all in stride.

All seniors taking English 4 must complete a Directed Real-World Innovative Venture Experience. The idea is that students spend at least 25 hours outside of school working with community contacts to accomplish a project that will enhance their leadership skills.

Students start planning their projects in the fall, and they typically come to fruition in the spring. Megan’s plan was to make “happy bags” for kids, parents and siblings at Children’s Mercy Hospital. The bags would be full of crafts supplies and other fun forms of entertainment. The hospital has a similar program it runs called “happy kits.”

She’d worked hard for months, raising $1,200 to buy the supplies to assemble the bags. 

The project was especially dear to her, because she was a patient at Children’s Mercy about three years ago.

“I wanted to be able to give back to them. They gave my life back to me,” Megan said.

Just when it seemed she’d overcome all the hurdles, there was one more. The donation arm of Children’s Mercy had shut down, except for accepting donations of personal protective equipment and meals for staff.

“They’re limiting how many people can visit patients, and I wanted to make sure kids had something to do while they’re stuck there,” Megan said.

Instead of quitting, she called up Bri Dallmeyer, the hospital’s manager of corporate and community volunteerism.

“I love that she was able to draw on her experience at Children’s Mercy to have an impact,” Dallmeyer said.

Dallmeyer was able to coordinate a drop-off to Children’s Mercy’s Overland Park hospital. The hospital’s metro-area facilities go through hundreds of kits each week.

Megan has already received positive feedback from people who know what she did.


Read the full story via the Kansas City Star

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