Milford students hold winter gear drive


Two Milford FCCLA students set up a winter gear drive to donate to Voices of Hope in Lincon.

Voices of Hope’s primary focus is on crisis intervention services for adult victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other related forms of abuse. Victims that go to Voices of Hope are provided support, counseling, advocacy and case management to be empowered to make the best decisions possible toward achieving safety and economic self-sufficiency for themselves and their families.

Jaycie Stutzman and Kayla Wilken said they decided to help Voices of Hope when they started brainstorming what they wanted to base their projects around. They said they really wanted to help women of domestic abuse.

“Voices of Hope said this was a great need at this time for families being served,” said Mallory Gregory, FCCLA teacher at Milford High School.

Wilken and Stutzman did the drive as their STAR project. STAR projects consist of 35 different competitive events for FCCLA. Students can only compete in one and each event aligns with the different areas of Family and Consumer Sciences education.

Gregory said Stutzman and Wilken took the lead on this project.

“They took the entire lead by calling, collaborating and emailing with the director of Voices of Hope,” she said. “They then spoke with our school admin, composed emails and set up the competition. I was there to support them, but they did all the behind-the-scenes work to make it happen.”

Gregory said Wilken and Stutzman also set up daily announcements to inform the school about domestic abuse in Nebraska.

Although it was for a school project, Wilken and Stutzman didn’t only do it for that. They said this project was important to them because they were able to help women and their children who have been victims of abuse.

Along with helping women of abuse, Gregory said she felt the project was important because it supported human service organizations and supported families.

“It aligns with FCS education and FCCLA’s ‘why,’” she said. “Ultimately, it makes every student’s story worth telling because they are helping others.”

Wilken and Stutzman ended up collecting 191 winter coats/gear during the drive. They said they couldn’t have done it without Gregory and they are fortunate to have had this opportunity.

“Kayla and Jaycie are two of many amazing FCCLA members that are making a huge impact on our school and community through their servant leadership,” Gregory said. “I am so blessed to get to work with them.”

Gregory said the month of January will be busy for the Milford FFCLA. She said students will continue to finish out their projects and compete in district competitions.


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