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Stanton Community Gathers Hope Kits

Students, staff and even some community members are helping cancer patients find comfort as they undergo treatment at Weirton Cancer Center with a special collection.

   Carolyn Byers, a preschool aide at Stanton Elementary School, is spearheading her second-annual Hope Kit project and donating bags of games, snacks and other items to the facility to help others like her. The collection got underway earlier this month and runs through May 10, at which time the bags will be taken to WCC. Byers put out the call in a letter to parents and it was also posted on the school’s Facebook page to gather interest. She has sought small blankets, warm socks, small packs of tissues, small bottles of sanitizer, reusable water bottles and cups, Chapstick and lip balm, small containers of unscented hand lotion, mints, lozenges, candy, lemon drops, gum, puzzle books, coloring books with coloring pencils and small bottles of Gatorade or ginger ale. Byers has been gathering items from school members and also received nutritional drinks from Saline Township officials.

   She plans to create several dozen Hope Kits and present them to the cancer center so patients can relax while receiving the help they need. Byers was inspired after she began chemotherapy for breast cancer at the site, saying her husband previously underwent treatment for colon cancer but was now in remission. They both had received similar packages as new patients and she wanted to lift other people’s spirits and make sure they didn’t give up hope.   

   “I had given them 30 bags last year. They were out of things, so I started collecting again,” she said. “We’ll collect until May 10 and then we will pack the bags.”

   She added that Principal Kodi Peterson was donating the bags for the project and she was grateful for the support she has received. Byers said the children love being involved, as well.

   “I had two kids who brought me box with one of everything,” she said. “There are some that really like doing it.”

    Byers continued that cancer center officials also appreciated the donation and anyone interested in donating items may deliver them to the school office.

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