Schickler Elementary students complete service learning project to benefit McLaren Hospice

Students donate “Sunshine Bags” to comfort Lapeer hospice patients and their loved ones

DAVISON, Michigan — Third grade students at Schickler Elementary School in Lapeer have worked throughout the school year raising funds and gathering items to make “Sunshine Bags” for hospice patients as part of an academic service learning (ASL) project that combines academics with service learning.

hospOn June 1, the students present their “Sunshine Bags” to representatives from McLaren Hospice. The bags will be given to McLaren Lapeer Region patients transitioning to McLaren Hospice. Each bag contains everyday items such as lip balm, lotion, socks and playing cards that patients and families may find useful to have throughout their hospice care. The bags also include inspirational messages made by the students, as well as a homemade lap quilt.

“McLaren Hospice is honored to have the support of the students, teachers and administrators at Schickler Elementary School and it’s wonderful to know young people are learning about the care and services hospice provides,” said McLaren Hospice director, Cindy Tomlinson, RN, MSN, “The students clearly put a lot of work and thought into the project and we are so thankful to receive their Sunshine Bags, as they will help lift the spirits of patients and families within the community.”

According to the student’s teacher, Kristin Colpetzer, “As educator’s we continuously work with parents and community members to create a culture of learning that brings school, community and families together for the betterment of our students,” stated Colpetzer, “With our ASL project focused on learning and giving back to the community, doing something to benefit

McLaren Hospice patients seemed like a natural fit.”

When starting this project, the students discussed the types services hospice care provides and what it means when a patient is sent home under hospice care. They held several fundraisers to raise money to purchase items for the bags including, an opportunity for children to win a book and photo with the book’s author during a school visit. They also sold “Love Grams” for Valentine’s Day and raffled off gift baskets at annual school dance. The students also received a monetary donation from Farm Bureau Insurance in Lapeer.

As a non-profit organization, McLaren Hospice relies on donations and efforts of the community to help support our mission to care for terminally ill patients, regardless of their ability to pay and support non-reimbursed services, such as music therapy and bereavement support programs. The donation of the Sunshine Bags from the Schickler Elementary students are equally as important. Not only do the items provide added comforts for patients and their loved ones, each bag comes with knowing the children learned heartfelt lessons of compassion, caring and giving for every bag made.

About McLaren Homecare Group

McLaren Homecare Group provides community-based home health care, palliative care, hospice, home medical supplies and equipment, infusion services, and pharmacy services for the McLaren Health Care system. Its divisions serve more than 375,000 patients and businesses in 25 counties throughout Michigan. McLaren Homecare Group maintains regional offices in Genesee County, Macomb County, Ingham County, Isabella County, Bay County, along with retail storefronts in 12 locations throughout southeast and mid-Michigan. For more information about McLaren Hospice, visit our website at, or call toll-free (866) 323-5974.

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