Fifth-graders perform random acts of kindness

by Airman 1st Class Hailey Haux
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Thinking back, what were some of the things fifth-graders did in their spare time when you were that age?

They most likely played sports or video games or just hung out with friends at the local park. For three local 11-year-olds, their focus was to perform random acts of kindness throughout the year.

“We wanted to do something for the community,” said Nina Prince, daughter of 1st Lt. John Prince, who is currently deployed. “The military does so much for our country, we wanted to give back.”

Their primary focuses became the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility on Ramstein and the USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

“We learned about the wounded men and women and wanted to be able to help,” said Sophia Troutman, daughter of Army Lt. Col. David Troutman, 409th Contract and Support Brigade.

The three young ladies used their free time to craft travel angels, which are paper clips made in the shape of an angel that can go anywhere with the wounded warriors. They also put together s’mores and pilgrim-hat cookies for the wounded warriors during the holiday seasons.

“We made approximately 250 Halloween
s‘mores, 200 pilgrim-hat cookies during Thanksgiving and 250 travel angels so far,” said Kiana Murphy, daughter of Victoria Murphy, commissary supervisor.

Their most recent project was hosting a dinner at the USO Warrior Center for the staff and for wounded men and women.

“We prepared for the dinner for a few months,” Prince said. “We had help from three parents, nine teachers and one second-grader.”
The food they served was mostly healthy, Troutman said. There were different kinds of salads: buffalo chicken salad, wonton chicken salad, taco salad and pasta salad. There were also many kinds of desserts: pecan pie, cheesecake, cookies and more.

“One of the goals of gifted education is to encourage leadership,” said DiAnna Martinez, gifted education teacher and volunteer. “I am so proud of them. They have really taken to the idea of volunteerism. I will have no doubt that they will continue with this, and I look forward to hearing from them about their future endeavors.”

Even though all three young ladies will be leaving this summer, they all plan to continue their volunteer efforts and random acts of kindness wherever they go.

“These girls have done such an amazing job this year,” Martinez said. “I will definitely miss them, as I have seen them grow as students and individuals over the past year.”