Olathe elementary students forego traditional Valentine’s Day party to help teens in need

OLATHE, Kan. -- On Valentine's Day at one Olathe school, kids spread the love not through cards or cookies, but through hygiene kits for teens in need.

At first glance, Valentine's Day in Ms. Brake's fourth grade classroom looked like any other with cookies, candy and cards. But outside, there was food, toiletries and basic necessities.

"We just wanted to do everything we can to help, so we`re providing some food, toiletries, hygiene items. Just trying to spread the love this Valentine's Day," Brake said.

Ninety fourth graders at Ravenwood Elementary gave up a regular party to help teens in foster care instead.

"It just makes me feel generous in that we`re giving to kids, and they just don`t have what we have, and I think it`s such a good thing to give to them," Sierra Collins said.

"It`s doing a good thing, and we`ve got to spread the love on Valentine's Day," Darryl Hall said.

"Rather than spending money on pizza and games, we`re actually spending money on people who need it," Marley Everett said.

Parents provided the donations and kids put together care packages that will benefit 40 local foster kids. The kids say Valentine's is about more than gifts, and to give to those who really need it.

"We`re just also trying to teach empathy, and compassion, and hopefully this opens their eyes to the needs of others in the community, and they just give and never stop, and it sparks, and spreads like wildfire. So, we hope it is a good lesson that they`ll carry with them forever," Brake said.

"We`re helping them. Valentine's Day is a day to care for people, a day to be nice, a day to love," Cameron Holzinger said.

"I think it`s better than a Valentine's Day party, because helping other people on Valentine's Day just makes me more happy," Ruth Tefera said.

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