Franklin County High School Students put together Bags of Hope for officers to give people in need

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Franklin County High School students are spreading hope one bag at a time. The 11th graders have been working on a school project, in which they created Bags of Hope full of necessities and gift cards for officers to give to folks they come across while working.

“This bags of hope is an awesome idea because you know, obviously, we can’t go out there ourselves, but police are often the first ones to respond and they are here to help,” said Stone Gibbs, an 11th grade student at Franklin County High School.

11th grade students will give the bags, filled with food, water, toiletries, gift cards and other items, to officers for them to give out to people in need whom they come across day-to-day. The students each have chosen different groups to help.

“My project is helping out people who are victims of small-scale, local natural disasters, and if somebody is in a house fire or their house floods, my train of thought is they’re going to a friend’s house, they don’t need food and water; they need deodorant, toothbrushes,” Gibbs said.

Student Jamie Brooks is helping “Parents with children where both are in crisis ... I am so glad that I am able to make an impact large or small in any life.”

This idea grew from Taylor Irish’s U.S. History and Criminal Justice Eagle Teach class, where her co-teacher is a police officer for the Town of Boones Mill. The students have been learning about the Civil War and abolitionists.

“We started determining modern-day advocacy and kind of what we can do to take those steps in that direction, and that’s how we kind of determined the needs in Franklin County, so we started talking to law enforcement and we realized law enforcement is the first advocate when it comes to helping people in need,” Irish said.

From there, the class came up with the bags of hope idea. Thursday morning, they handed them off to officers and had a conversation with them.

“I grew up here, went to school here, and this is just a small sample of how our community cares for their law enforcement and cares for each other, so just by them spending their own money and going out and doing this, I think is an amazing thing,” Terry Dameron, first lieutenant for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, said.

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