Troy Blessings provides food for at-risk kids on weekends

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published May 13, 2015

 Joe Gillispie, left, and Nafaa Makadsi, of Troy, carry a bin filled with food items that they will place in bags for at-risk Troy Union students to take home on weekends.

Joe Gillispie, left, and Nafaa Makadsi, of Troy, carry a bin filled with food items that they will place in bags for at-risk Troy Union students to take home on weekends.

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The students from the Troy Center for Transition were in high spirits at Woodside Bible Church May 6 as they packed food into bags for at-risk Troy Union Elementary students to take home for the weekend.

Susan Jackson, a teacher in the Troy Center for Transition program for cognitively impaired young adults ages 16-26, said the activity through Troy Blessings will teach her students valuable life skills.

“We love to find things in the community to build skills in hopes the students will get jobs,” she said. “That’s the goal of the program.”

Woodside Bible Church provides space for students to pack the food, as well as storage space for food items that volunteers from Troy Blessings purchase from Meijer. Anju Brodbine, of Troy Blessings, said a $4,800 donation from the Rotary Club of Troy benefited 33 recipient students at Troy Union. The principal at Troy Union planned to distribute the bags of food to the students May 8. The backpacks are provided to the students through the end of the school year and will resume in the fall. Walmart also donated $800 to the program.

Brodbine said the program started at Morse Elementary School in 2005 and was the first such program in the state.

“There are kids that need this over the weekend,” said Joanne Merian, resource room tutor at Troy Union.

She worked previously at Morse Elementary when the program was called Blessings in a Backpack. 

“We are over the top of the moon,” she said, thanking the Rotary and all of the helpers.

“I wish you could see the faces of the kids when they get the backpacks,” Merian said, referring to the students at Morse.

To volunteer for Troy Blessings, send an email to Brodbine at abrodbine@ aol.com. For information about the Rotary Club of Troy or to donate to the program, visit www.troymirotary.com.

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