Williamsburg board approves group’s use of school facilities

WILLIAMSBURG — A dec­ade ago, Patricia Kensinger wanted to make a connection between being a school board member and helping the senior citizens at the assisted living facility where she worked.

Kensinger, who is on the Williamsburg Community School District School Board, saw a need to bring a little extra comfort to the older people living at Mor­risons Cove Home in Martinsburg. She also thought students at Williamsburg High School might want to help provide that help.

This month, Kensinger and her fellow board members gave the necessary approvals needed for the group that she formed, Creative Compassions, to continue its mission of giving comfort items not only to the elderly, but also to others in need.

“They’re just things that we make that touch other people with love,” Kensing­er said.

The board approved the group’s use of high school facilities to meet and make the items once a month. It also approved a series of field trips for students to deliver items.

When she started the group 10 years ago, she had about eight or nine students show up. In the last school year, Kensinger had 55 students sign up for the group.

In the years since the group began, they’ve ex­panded to make items for residents at the Hollidays­burg Veterans Home, Pre­cious Life and other nonprofit causes. They’ve also created things for special needs, such as a local person who might be seriously ill and whose family would be raising funds for medical care, Kensinger said.

The students make different kinds of items, like lap robes for older people or baby blankets for infants, depending on the type of group they’re helping. The group also makes blankets that it sends to national nonprofit groups like St. Jude’s Research Hospital, which treats seriously ill children.

Students get service hours for their work, which fulfills part of their high school graduation requirements, but Kensinger said she thinks many of them do it for more than just that. The students deliver the items they make to nursing homes and other sites at Christ­mas, Valentine’s Day and Memorial Day.

“They just love taking the things to the people and giving them out, seeing the joy that it gives them,” Kensinger said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

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