Sixteen wide-eyed and inquisitive kindergarten students from Middletown were excited to donate care packages to newborns at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford on Friday.
The students, from Spencer Elementary School, individually carried the 30 care packages to the maternity unit. Inside each package is a handmade blanket, along with a onesie, pacifier, book and outfit, all donated by the community. The packages will go to 30 deserving families of the hospital’s choosing.
Gretchen McInvale, their teacher, initiated the visit. It is something she started 30 years ago.
“I started it with my firstborn. The woman next to me didn’t have anything new or warm to bring her baby home in and she had asked the nurse. That had touched my heart. So from then I started doing one or two gifts and then I got more and more,” said McInvale.
Now several years later McInvale said some of her former students, who previously made the same hospital trip and are now grown up, want to get involved. McInvale said it means a lot to her since this was her last year delivering the gifts with her class before she retires.
“That just touches my heart. They’re grown and they want to do it and they said that they’ll always remember it. How can you get better than that,” said McInvale.
McInvale said she hopes the young students know they made a difference.
“The biggest lesson is no matter how little you are, you can make a difference in the world and they know that,” McInvale said.