Windy weather did not keep Byron-Bergen students and senior volunteers from delivering emergency preparedness backpacks to their neighbors on National Make a Difference Day.

Emergency backpacks delivered to senior citizens

Students from the Byron-Bergen Emergency Response Team (BBERT) participated in National Make a Difference Day for the first time.

Byron-Bergen students in grades 8 through 12 teamed up with AmeriCorps workers and volunteers from RSVP of Genesee County to assemble and distribute emergency preparedness backpacks to senior citizens in the district. Each "grab 'n go" bag included essential items such as a flashlight, first aid kit, collapsible water jug, seven-day pill container, thermal blanket and whistle. Most of the contents were purchased with money from a Seniors and Youth Engaged in Service (SaYES) grant from the K-12 Service-Learning Network Academy for Educational Development in Washington, D.C.

Students and adult helpers worked after school to assemble the backpacks then met on Saturday, October 27 (Make a Difference Day) to deliver the kits via school bus. Most of the recipients had participated in a four-hour emergency preparedness training at the Gillam-Grant Community Center in September, but some were "nominated" to receive a backpack by others.

Lauren Mullen, a Byron-Bergen junior, has applied for a student grant that would enable BBERT to repeat this activity in the spring. Any senior citizens residing in the Byron-Bergen Central School District who would like to be put on a waiting list for an emergency preparedness backpack can call 494-1220, ext. 2704.

© November 11, 2007 - Westside News Inc.