Kearsley Armstrong Middle School Blueberry Ambassadors pay forward the gift of smiles

Kearsley Armstrong Middle School, coordinator Courtney Emerick

Celestina Ascencio

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My friends Ava, Alyvia, and I wanted to do something big for our first Blueberry Moment. We decided to make a project called “Christmas 3.0.” This project was to help kids who are stuck sick and in the hospital over the Christmas holiday. We wanted to do this because there are a lot of kids who will not get to be home with their families during the Christmas holiday. We worked together to create little gift boxes to deliver to these kids. We collected donations from other kids at our school so that we could wrap these boxes and fill them with coloring books, markers, chapstick, games, puzzles, and more. We went together to Hurley Hospital to deliver the boxes so that they could be distributed on the children’s floor.

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My friends and I went to Splash Village for a birthday party. One of the little girls we were with didn’t have anyone to play with. So, my friends and I walked over to her and asked her if she wanted to play with us. It made her so happy, and made me feel good to include someone who felt left out.

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When my sister and I were driving to the mall after my birthday, we stopped at a red light. There was a homeless woman standing on the corner, and I rolled down my window and gave her $10 and a Blueberry Card.

Abigail Golden
My first Blueberry Moment was very small. My friend said that she wasn’t pretty, but she is one of the most beautiful girls I know. I decided to send her paragraphs about how amazing, smart, and pretty I think she is. It made me feel better knowing that my friend felt better and loved.

My grandpa is in the hospital because of his kidneys. So, when we visited him, I made him laugh and smile and it made me feel good knowing I made him feel better.

While I was performing the Nutcracker at The Whiting, my friend was feeling sad because her costume was too tight. I helped her and she got a new costume. It made me feel good knowing I helped.

Grace Owens
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My first Blueberry Moment was when I asked my Mom if I could make cookies to surprise my dad with after a long day at work. My Dad loves cookies, and I wanted to do something to make his day happier.

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My second Blueberry Moment was when I decided to do the laundry for my Mom. My Mom always has to do all the laundry at our house. I wanted to help her out so she didn’t have to do it when she got home from work.

My last Blueberry Moment was when I helped my little brother catch Pokemon, when he went bowling. I helped him because he had a thing where the Pokemon came to you instead of you going to them. I got him three Pokemon, one of which was his best Pokemon!

I had one “extra” Blueberry Moment, too. I did this one because I found a random Blueberry Card just sitting around. I picked up the card and I knew I needed to get it back on its road to kindness. So, that day I left it on the table of my third hour class so that the next person who sat at that seat would find a note saying “Have a good day” and a Blueberry Card they could pass on. I hope that it travels around our building making our school spread a little more kindness. I was so happy that I could be a part of this “extra” Blueberry Moment.

Karsyn Streeter
At my school, we had a food/toy drive for kids in our school district. We could bring in boxed/canned foods, toiletries, and toys. I brought in a whole bunch of goodies, because I know that some of the people in our school district don’t have much. It made me feel good to know I was helping others.

My friends and family are buying gift cards from pizza places. We are going to put them on people’s porches in our community who need some extra help during Christmas time. This makes me happy because people who don’t get a lot for Christmas will be happy to know someone’s thinking about them.

In my second hour class, we were doing a big project. We were cutting up paper, and the bell rang. Everyone left, but I decided to stay and help clean up the big mess so my teacher didn’t have to. It made me happy to know that when my teacher realizes someone cleaned up the room that someone cares about her.

Sophia Hanson
My first Blueberry Moment came from a bunch of clothes that I have that I didn’t want, or that didn’t fit. I put them all into a bag and we donated them to people who were in need of clothes, or couldn’t afford to buy them. It made me feel good to know that I was making someone else happy.

My second Blueberry Moment came from donating a lot of books. I got together all of my old book, and we donated them to those who can’t afford to buy books, don’t have any books, or who really wanted some new books. I like knowing that I can help someone else who loves to read.

Last but not least, my next-door neighbor just had twin babies. She has been in the hospital for the last three weeks. My Dad and I started mowing her lawn and picking up sticks in her yard. My brother Jackson and I helped take care of a snake problem she had in her bushes, too. Our help made it easier for her husband to be at the hospital with her and the babies, while we took care of their yard.

Antenia Brown
One of my Blueberry Moments was helping with the Christmas 3.0 project my Blueberry Ambassadors created to help the kids at Hurley Hospital. I gave up my lunch hour to wrap and pack boxes. It made me feel really good to do something kind for someone else. It was worth giving up my lunch to make someone else’s day brighter.

My next Blueberry Moment happens on Mondays during lunch. I volunteer to be a part of our school LINKS program. This program pairs me up with a special link partner from our special needs students at school. Every Monday, we have lunch together, and I read to my LINK during lunch.

My last Blueberry Moment was my friends and I wrote thank you notes to gave them to local firemen, and to all of our teachers at school thanking them for all that they do every day to help others.

Katie Steel
My first Blueberry Moment is from helping my Dad. Every day when he comes home from work, I help him bring in his food, laundry, pillows, and bag. It makes me feel good to help him when he has come home from working so hard.

My second moment came when I found someone’s belongings that had fallen out of their backpack. I saw it happen, ran and picked the things up, and then went and gave them back to the person who dropped them.

My third Blueberry Moment was on my band teacher Ms. Phelps birthday. She loves cheesecake, so because it was her birthday I brought her a lot of different kinds of cheesecake to make her birthday extra special.

Ava Boggs

My first Blueberry Moment was really special once I heard what happened to the person.  It was a normal day scrolling through Instagram, when I saw a friend in my class’s sister. The picture looked like black and white when I first looked at it, so I was interested. When I read the link below the picture, it was heartbreaking. The link described a type of cancer spreading into her lungs, and she is only a teenager. So, I decided that she would be one of my Blueberry Moments. I spent two days typing a letter to her, because I decided there wasn’t a way that I could ever talk to her in person. When I finished my letter, it sounded good to me, but I was scared she wouldn’t really care because of all of the other “hope you feel better” letters she would get. So, I added more to the letter, explaining what the Blueberry Card inside of the letter was before I shipped it off. The next day, I gave the letter to her younger sister to deliver for me. For a while, I didn’t know whether she liked or reacted to what I’d sent. But, on December 3, I had a babysitter over at my house. She called me over to talk to me and I thought I was in trouble. My babysitter talked to me about the letter I wrote to the girl with cancer. She told me that my letter made that girl cry, and that deep down it made her feel really good to know someone cared enough to write. It made me feel really good to do something kind for someone else.

My second Blueberry Moment was a tough but fun task to accomplish. Some of the other Blueberry Ambassadors and I decided to wrap shoeboxes and turn them into presents to deliver to the children at Hurley Hospital. We wrapped the boxes like presents and filled them with new toys, puzzles, coloring books, markers, and other small items to deliver to Hurley Hospital. We encouraged our whole school to be a part of this project by donating items we could put into our boxes. I was excited to be a part of a project that would make kids who can’t be home for Christmas get a little bit of joy.

My third Blueberry Moment happened when I was at Kroger with my Mom. We pulled into our parking space, and I saw a lady drop a part of her newspaper on the ground in the middle of the lane. When I got out of the car I was going to walk right in, but instead I went over to get the newspaper. I picked it up and ran it over to the lady. She said, “thank you young lady!” It made me feel great to help someone else.

I did a fourth Blueberry Moment even though I didn’t have a card. I saw a box in the middle of the street. Once traffic was clear, I ran out and got the box. I walked over and put it behind the mailbox of the person it was for so they would find it. I wanted them to get their package without it being damaged. It made me feel good inside my heart to help others.

Isabelle Tucker
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My first Blueberry Moment was when some of my fellow Blueberries and I teamed up to work on a special project for the children at Hurley Hospital. We wanted to make them feel like Christmas was being brought to them when they couldn’t be home for the holidays. We asked for donations of shoeboxes so that we could fill them with small toys a child would be happy to play with like coloring books, stuffed animals, notebooks, and other cool items. I was happy to participate! In one of the boxes, I decided to slip a Blueberry Card in too. It makes me feel good to have a part in this amazing act of kindness and help children who suffer from an illness to have a great Christmas.

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My second Blueberry Moment I repeat every day for my sixth hour teacher. She is an amazing teacher, with a cheerful personality and nothing stands in her way. I asked my Dad if I could stay after to help her. So, every day I stay after school to help her clean and organize papers. It makes me feel grateful that I can help her out even in the smallest act of kindness just by cleaning the floor and sorting papers.

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My third Blueberry Moment was done in a three-person group. We all helped out and made thank you cards for firefighters. It makes me feel good to thank them because they help our community every day. They stop fires from spreading and protect all of us from danger. I wanted to thank them for their service. They put their lives at risk every day to save others, and I definitely respect them. It makes me feel amazing to thank them for all they do every single day to keep our communities safe.

Megan Schott
For my first Blueberry Moment, some of the other Blueberry Ambassadors and I put Christmas presents inside decorated shoe boxes for the kids who are at Hurley Hospital. We wanted to help brighten up their Christmas because they can’t go home for the holiday.

My second Blueberry Moment happened when I went to my Mom’s work and helped them clean up and give deliveries. I also held the door open for customers and helped them to find what they were looking for.

My third Blueberry Moment happened when a couple of the other Blueberries and I wrote letters to the teachers at Armstrong Middle School thanking them for all that they do every day, and everything they do for us. We hand delivered our notes, which made us feel good to thank them for all of their hard work.

Zachary June
On Sunday, November 19, my mom and I took my Nana to go grocery shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. We had to help her grocery shop, because she couldn’t go by herself. She had a full knee replacement on November 8, and she needed help getting what she needed. We were at the store for about three hours. We walked around the store and I had to helped push her cart while she rode the Amigo. When she wanted something off her list, I went and grabbed it for her, and loaded it into the cart. We helped her get different foods and many other things to get prepared for Thanksgiving dinner. When we were done she was very appreciative of my help. After we left, I felt really good for helping my Nana.

One day my mom and I went to the store. We shopped around in the store for about thirty minutes. When we were walking out to the car to leave, an older man with a cane asked me a question. He said, “Sir, can you help me?” I answered back, “Yes, I can.” The older man asked me to go get him an Amigo from inside the store. I said “yes,” and ran into the store to grab the man an Amigo. When I rolled back out to the man I hopped off and he got on.  He said, “Thank you so much for helping me, I wouldn’t be able to even get inside of the store without your help!” After this I was honestly so happy. At first, I didn’t even notice that I had just done a random act of kindness. This helped me realize that you can do a random act of kindness anywhere you go. This made me feel great and I’m sure the older man was even happier.

One day me and my mom headed over to Dollar General to get some supplies for our school project being done by the Blueberry Ambassadors at our school. We were taking shoe boxes and decorating them to take to the kids at Hurley Hospital. So, I used my own money to buy 6 coloring books. The next day I took them to school to donate and put them into boxes to help kids in the hospital feel better while they have to stay there. This made me feel really good because I know what it feels like to stay in the hospital for a long time. I hope the boxes help make the kids stay a little easier. 

Emily Hipkins
One of my Blueberry Moments was over the summer, after the bad flooding in Midland. Most of my family was not terribly affected. But unfortunately, my cousins lost everything. My mom and I decided to go to stores and buy things like clothes, toiletries, and food. Afterwards, we drove it up to Midland and gave them everything. They were so happy and thankful! It made me feel so amazing that I helped out people in need.

On October 27, my friend Katelyn and I volunteered at a Halloween Ball for senior citizens from nursing homes. The seniors came dressed up in costumes or just in the Halloween spirit. There was a live band, dancing, costume contest, dinner, and a photo booth. I got to help serve dinner. After dinner was over, we danced for a long time with the senior citizens. After everything was done, we helped walk some of them out, and helped take down all of the decorations, too. We helped take care of all of the trash, tables, and chairs. It was a really cool experience, and it made me feel good about myself that I got to help out senior citizens, too!

My third Blueberry Moment was donating things to the Humane Society. Every year I donate things like food, kitty litter, bowls, collars, & wipes. It makes me feel great that I get to help animals in need of a home.

Kennady Streeter
At my school, we are doing a food/toy drive to help kids in our community. So, I brought a whole bunch of things to my homeroom to help kids in our neighborhood. This makes me happy to know that kids in my school district are getting supplies that they need.

My family and I are going to buy a whole bunch of cake, frosting, and gift cards and anonymously put them on people’s porches to help them during Christmastime. This makes me happy to know that the people who receive these gifts will know that someone’s thinking about them and cares.

My fellow Blueberry Ambassadors and I are doing a donation of toys, and small items in wrapped shoe boxes to give to the children at Hurley Hospital. We wrapped the boxes and sent them to try to brighten Christmas for kids who have to spend it in the hospital.

Jessica Brulla
So there is a boy in my grade who gets picked on a lot. And I will totally admit, even I snickered at jokes about him a few times too. One day, I realized how wrong it was to laugh, and that the things he was made fun of for were really not his fault. I decided to change the way I treated him. Now, whenever he wants a high five or a fist bump, I give him one and ignore the other things that kids say about him. Once I started doing that kids said stuff like “you’re really going to touch his hands?” Or “that’s gross, Jess.” I just say, “So what?” A few days later, I saw a girl being really mean to him when he asked if he could work with her. She was like “Ew! No one likes you.” So, my friends and I felt so awful about what had been said to him, so we told him he could work with us. Parent-Teacher conferences came around and we went to see the teacher where that boy and I share the class. We talked with the teacher about my grades, and then she commented on how nice it was of me to be friends with the boy who always got picked on. She told me she had been watching me for the past few weeks and how I changed, and said she was really proud of me. Being nice to him makes me feel really good because not many people are and he may be going through things in his life that nobody knows about. Becoming friends with him inspires me to be nice to everyone because you never know what someone it truly going through.

My second Blueberry Moment came when I was cleaning my room. I ended up going through my closet and realized I had a lot of clothes that didn’t fit me. I thought I would take all of these clothes and donate them to Goodwill. We packed them all up and took them there to donate. When I gave them to the woman she said, “What you’re doing is a very nice thing young lady.” When she said that it made me realize that this was a nice thing to do. It also made me happy because I knew the holidays were coming up and maybe some little girl would be very happy when she was given one of my donated items.

One day at my cheer practice there was a boy that no one knew and he walked up and said, “Does anyone know where the football players are?” I thought to myself that my brother was on the football team and I knew today they were in the weight room. So, I said “I do,” and asked my coaches if I could go and show him where to go. I didn’t want to make things awkward, so I asked him what school he came from, how old he was, and if he was excited for football. We got to the weight room and I told him to have fun, and he said, “Thank you so much!” I told him he was welcome and went back to practice. My coach told me that was a really nice thing to do for a new student. I hope it helped him feel welcome, because it sure made me smile.

Sarah Morin
For my first Blueberry Moment, I helped with a project at my school. We collected shoeboxes and toys. Then we wrapped the boxes in Christmas wrapping paper and put toys inside of them. We sent the shoeboxes to Hurley Hospital so kids in the hospital could have Christmas gifts. It was fun putting together the gifts and it made me feel good to know that it was going to make some kids happy on Christmas.

My second Blueberry Moment was when I joined a program at my school. It’s called the LINKS program. If you are a part of the LINKS program, you give up your lunchtime in the cafeteria once a week and go to a classroom to have lunch with your LINKS partner. On my assigned day, I help my LINKS with whatever they are doing that day. LINKS are our special needs students, who sometimes need extra help or just like having a friend to connect with. I love being a part of LINKS, because it makes me feel happy to help someone in need.

My third Blueberry Moment was when I donated my hair for wigs to be made for kids who have cancer. I donated eight inches of my hair to Wigs for Kids. I’m really glad I did this, so I can help someone else feel better and more confident when they get their new wig.

Morgan Hanks
For my first Blueberry Moment, I helped with a bake sale, which was fun but it wasn’t really the moment I planned for. A little girl about age seven came to the table and started staring at the cookies. I asked her what her favorite kind of cookie was, and she said, “Peanut butter and chocolate chip.” We happened to have one of those left, and she really wanted it. She went over to her Mom and asked if she could buy it from us. Her Mom started talking about how money was tight right now, and it made me feel so bad because I could see how sad the little girl was. When she started to walk away, I shoved a dollar into the cash register and without even thinking about it bought her the last cookie she wanted. I ran and gave it to her and she smiled and gave me a big hug. It made me feel really warm and happy inside, and I knew it had to be a Blueberry Moment. My friends didn’t really think this was a big deal, but I knew that even what we think is sometimes the smallest act of kindness can be really appreciated by someone else.

For my second Blueberry Moment some friends and I decided to collect donations at our school to make into Christmas gifts to deliver to kids at Hurley Hospital. We wrapped boxes and filled each one with at least six different items. With all of our collections, work, and donations we were able to fill more than 30 boxes to deliver to Hurley. We called our project Christmas 3.0.

My final Blueberry Moment was when I went to the senior citizen center to volunteer my time. We helped bring food and drinks, and fold laundry for the people who lived there. It felt really good to help people who can’t help themselves.

Jacob Mosher
One day during a wrestling meet, I was with my friend Dom and we were working on moves to get warmed up. A first-year wrestler came up to us and asked what to do, so we helped him get warmed up. This way he would know what to do next time so he would feel more prepared. It made me feel good when I did this because when you help someone who doesn’t know how to do something it’s the right thing to do.

One Sunday night my family and I went to go see a movie at Courtland Cinemas. When we finished watching the movie we went out the doors that go straight out into the parking lot. I noticed that there was a group of people behind us so I decided to hold the door for everyone to go out. They all thanked me and it made me feel really good because when you show kindness to others it makes you feel good too.

One morning before school started there was a sixth grader who looked like he was lost and didn’t know where to go. He looked like he wasn’t sure what to do when the bell rang and didn’t know how to get to his locker. I helped him find his locker and walked him to his first hour class. He thanked me for helping make things less scary for him. It made me feel good to help someone else have a better start to their day.

Katelyn Jacot
When I heard about a senior citizen event that was being put on by the Burton rotary club I knew I had to learn more about it. So, I asked my golf coach who is part of the rotary club about this event. The event is called the Senior Harvest Ball and is put on every October. It’s a chance for elders that live in nursing homes to get out and have fun with their friends. There’s also a costume contest and a turkey dinner. I knew I wanted to come and help volunteer. I also asked my friend to help because hundreds of seniors come to this event.

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On the night of the ball my friend and I dressed up and served the turkey dinner as well as dance with the seniors and helped set up the event then later cleaning. It was so fun to dance with the seniors and I even talked to a few. I’m glad I helped out at this event because not only did I enjoy myself but I also made the seniors happy. Afterward they thanked me and there was no better feeling than that.

Bre’Azia Lee
The reason I did these things were because they made me happy and the three things are at Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint. I helped Mrs. Shari in the reading room and it was actually very fun but we got everything we needed done it made me feel very happy knowing I was helping someone.

I helped my teacher get her stuff out of her car and that made my day so much you don’t even know.

I helped this girl stop getting bullied because people kept talking about her and I told them to leave her alone. When they did, it made me so joyful inside about standing up to a bully not using my hands and helping someone with a problem. It made me happy because somebody did the same for me.

Lydia Boggs
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I was a Cheerio giver. Every day Emily got cheerios for breakfast at school. Then, they stopped serving them because they did not sell enough. (They were healthy with no sugar). Emily was really upset. So, the next day before school, I woke up and got a bowl with a lid. I came to school with a bowl of cheerios. Emily was not in class yet, so I put the bowl on the desk with the Blueberry Card on top. When she came in and saw it, she had a smile on her face that aliens could see. Emily was very happy. I feel like I really made her day by bringing them. Even though it was small as a bowl of Cheerios, it still had a large positive impact on her stomach and her day. It also impacted me because all night I thought about her smile and it made me smile. Also, throughout the day remembering her smile on her face made mine bigger. Solidifying the idea that if you fill someone’s bucket, yours will fill to.

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It’s a ritual. Every day before every volleyball game since seventh grade, I have braided Jessica’s hair. Not once has it ever fallen out. She has said and proven that when her hair is not braided she has a hard time playing. So, every day I go and braid her hair. Then I realized that every volleyball game, I was making her day. So, I gave her a Blueberry Card so she can help spread the kindness. Also, it’s so funny to me that every day, the second she sees me, she jumps up and asks me to braid her hair, so she knows that she will get her hair done first for the game. To me, doing something I love makes me happy, so, when I can do it and make others happy, that just makes my day.

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The strongest kids in the world are not the ones who can lift 1000 pounds or score 50 touch downs. To me, the strongest kids in the world are the ones in the hospital surviving. If you said your life is hard, I bet you any kid that must live their childhood in a hospital room would switch lives with you in a heartbeat and say, “wow this is amazing.” These kids in the hospital are not fighting for a state championship. They are fighting for their lives. Not all days are good but, not all days are bad. I want to help make those bad days smaller than an atom. So, the Blueberries at my school and I have been working together to make that happen. Almost every day of this month and last, we have been collecting and wrapping shoe boxes to put small fun items in that will make every day brighter. On December 16, we will be going to the hospital and delivering the presents to 30 kids to make their bad days nearly gone. I’m helping make this happen because I want to make their lives easier and make their holidays more cheerful because happiness is the greatest medicine. When we hand the children their presents and see their smiles and laughter, it will bring so much joy to my heart to know that they are happy and having a brighter day and year. I say this because every day can make the biggest difference in your life. I’m going to give a Blueberry Card to one of the children in the hospital. This is the most important card to me because it is the last card I will ever give. This is because I will be in high school next year. So, I really hope this will help a child that has fought every day, so they can just be kids again. Hopefully it will allow the strongest kids in the world to not have to be as strong and be happier this holiday. Maybe these kids can be Peter Pan and fly again and defeat captain hook. “Think happy thoughts and you will fly.” -Peter Pan

Karlee Clarambeau
I play volleyball at my school and as one of my ideas I thought it would be a good idea to leave a card and three dollars for someone from the other school to get in without paying. I left it with the lady that does the ticket table at out game and told her to tell someone they don’t need to pay because it was covered and give them the card. It felt good to do this because it was for someone I had never met before and then I had hoped they would do the same thing and pass on the card.

I am not for sure this is something you would give out a card for and I didn’t because it didn’t cross my mind as an act of kindness but I guess it was. In the hallway, a really small sixth grader got pushed around by the kids that are bigger than him and he had a whole bunch of papers and books in his arms and they went everywhere. When no one else stopped to help, I went over and helped pick up everything. I ended up being late to my class that day but it was okay because it was a good thing to do for someone that was in need of help.

I had bass lessons that day and I thought I would pay for the kids lesson who was after me because one week that kid came in and told my teacher he couldn’t pay for his lesson next week. So, I decided I would help him out because he really loved to play music and I could tell he really was trying to learn. It made me feel like I was actually making a difference in someone’s life, which maybe I was or maybe I wasn’t and it didn’t make him think. But it for sure made me think. 

Hailey Cameron
For one of my Blueberry Moments, I helped at lunch each day to make Christmas gifts for kids in the hospital. It made me feel good about myself. I loved doing it knowing that someone would have a merrier Christmas from something that I did.

My second Blueberry Moment came when I went to the store to buy personal hygiene items for the kids who live at Whaley Children’s Home. I felt good about donating things for the kids who don’t have as much for Christmas as I do.

My final Blueberry Moments was when I wrote Christmas cards to those who are off serving in the military so that they could be recognized for all the good they do. It made me feel proud to let them know how much I appreciate what they do for their country, especially when they have to give up time with their own families at the holidays to keep our country safe.

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