De Pere students donate hand sanitizer to early responders
DE PERE – More than 30 gallons of hand sanitizer have been donated to the City of De Pere’s police and fire/rescue departments thanks to a fundraising challenge presented to De Pere High School students by teacher Chad Michalkiewicz.
The product was delivered to City of De Pere department leaders Tuesday, April 21.
“Through a series of discussions I learned that our De Pere police and fire departments were looking for additional hand sanitizer which has become very difficult to purchase,” said Michalkiewicz. “At about the same time, I read how Northwoods Distillery in Minocqua was changing over their production lines from spirits to hand sanitizer. On April 9, the day before our spring break, I put down a challenge to students in my Leadership class: reach out to five people you know during break. Let’s see how much money we can raise to buy sanitizer from this company and donate it to our local early responders, plus others who are in need.”
This school year has already posed more challenges than anyone could imagine, but Michalkiewicz was confident his students would rise to the occasion.
“Our leadership class is grounded in the concept of servant leadership,” he said. “Leaders grow through service to others, sharing what you have and doing what you can despite your personal circumstances. The kids really grasp the approach and have shown tremendous willingness to give of themselves.”
Previous leadership class students and players from the De Pere High School football team which Michalkiewicz coaches joined the effort.
Students had until April 20, the last day of break, to make their contacts but $1,875 was raised in just four days.
It was enough to buy supplies for the city departments and a few local businesses, with enough left over to contribute $700 to the school district’s free lunch/breakfast/weekend meal distribution program.
De Pere High School senior Sophie Hubbard said she got involved to help ease the burden for people whose jobs are essential.
“The ones still working during this crazy time are risking their health in order to aid others in the community,” Hubbard said. “I felt the least we could do is supply those working with some hand sanitizer to possibly help them feel better equipped while they work their hardest to continue supplying food and products to the community.”
Juniors Bennett Spaeth and Maddax Shinners expressed their desire to help ease the load for front line workers and the community as a whole.
“I thought this was a great way to show that we are all in it together as a city,” said Spaeth. “I hope this inspires other people to help out in this chaotic period.”
Shinners said he appreciated the chance to demonstrate servant leadership and bring the community together.
“During this time there is so much stress, fear and uncertainty, giving back to those who give so much to us can go a long way,” she said.