Children helping children is not only a heartwarming idea, but as of Thursday, a reality at Indianapolis Public Schools’ William McKinley Elementary.
The Sparrow Club, which has had great success in the Pacific Northwest, teamed up with the IPS school near Fountain Square to adopt a seriously ill child, dubbed the “Sparrow,” and his/her family.
For the remainder of the school year, the students will initiate their own community service projects, some involving just the family and others the community at large. With each hour of community service, a corporate sponsor, Stonegate Mortgage, will donate a certain amount of money to the family to help pay for medical bills.
“We say if you give kids a chance to perform miracles and be heroes, they will rise to the occasion every time,” Sparrow Club of Indiana Executive Director Mark Thornton said.
At 2:30 p.m., the first Hoosier sparrow family will meet the William McKinley student body for the first time.
Thornton told Fox 59 News it is sure to be an emotional day.
“The biggest thing that [the families] say that they react to is that they thought they were in this horror themselves. Then all of a sudden these kids show up and just, I mean, do simple things for them,” Thornton said.
William McKinley is the first of four area schools already signed up to adopt their own sparrows, but Thornton said that is just the beginning. He is putting out a call to all Hoosiers: If you know someone in need or a school willing to help, he asks that you reach out to the Sparrow Club.
The reward to both the families and the schoolchildren, who take full charge of their community service projects and see firsthand the impact it has on the sparrow, goes far beyond just helping pay for medical bills, Thornton said.