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December 15, 2003

Students at ISD making ornaments to help the homeless

From: Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA - Dec 15, 2003

BRIEN T. BOYCE , Staff Writer

There's nothing more heartwarming in the world to see than children helping other children in need, and that's exactly what students at Iowa School for the Deaf are doing this holiday season.

A mix of middle and high school students have worked feverishly to make a variety of items, from Christmas ornaments to decorations to gift bags, in order to raise money to donate to a local organization that assists homeless children.

Some of the items made for sale included Christmas gift bags, assorted tree ornaments, snowmen made of bricks and snowmen on sticks. All items were sold at the school Friday to staff members.

ISD elementary and middle school art teacher Cindy Soppe said the students started making the items about five weeks ago. The goal, she continued, would be to raise at least $200 in sales.

"I wanted students to learn about the different uses of art," Soppe said. "Not only is it fun, it can also be used to help other people."

In turn, that money would be donated to the Omaha chapter of the Faces of Homelessness project, which is the artwork of homeless children in the area that express their emotions about living life in shelters.

The money from ISD sales will benefit the art program so homeless children can continue to express their feelings on homelessness through their art.

Artwork from the Faces of Homelessness was on display at Jennie Edmundson from Dec. 8 to 12.

On Thursday, Jamie Grayson from the Pottawattamie County Homeless Link came to ISD to speak about the homeless children and their lives.

Sixth-graders Colby McIntosh and Alicia Sterr were some of the students making items to sell, and rather enjoyed being able to do something to benefit the less fortunate.

"I like to be able to give to people who maybe don't have the money to do what they're doing," McIntosh signed through an interpreter.

"It's good that we can make these things to raise money for the homeless children," Sterr added.

"The most innocent victims of homelessness are the children," Soppe said. "I want students to see that art is a natural way to express feelings or to communicate ideas. Children who can't put their feelings into words because it might be too painful or confusing may be able to express them through art."

©Daily Nonpareil 2003