‘We just wanted to send a message of love’

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Hanceville High School Art/Family and Consumer Science Teacher and FCCLA Sponsor Amy Chambers (left) and ACCESS/Theater/ACT Prep Teacher and Leo Club Sponsor Tina Weldon pose with the valentines given out to students at HHS Friday morning. (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – A different type of love was in the air for Hanceville High School (HHS) Friday morning, when 400 valentine bags were given to students. Bags contained personal hygiene products and treats. Divided for boys and girls to collect, each contained a stick of deodorant, tooth brush and some candy or a snack cake.

HHS ACCESS/Theater/ACT Prep Teacher and Leo Club Sponsor Tina Weldon shared, “We just wanted to send a message of love to all the kids today. We just wanted to share love with them. They all were like, ‘We didn’t get anything for Valentine’s Day,’ so they can leave feeling like they received something. We also put Little Debbie cakes in all the boys’ bags, but they’re double cakes so the boys have to share a cake with the girls. They all seemed excited about it and it’s just a little bit of a way to let them know that we love them and to give them something that they can actually use.”

On including the hygiene items, Weldon said, “We love them and we love each other, but we all have to love ourselves first and we wanted to send that message. A lot of kids need personal hygiene items. When you’re in high school sometimes you don’t realize you need personal hygiene items and even as adults we get to where we need to be and think, ‘Oh, I forgot deodorant or I don’t have my toothpaste.’ We wanted them to have something to keep here at school in their lockers just in case they needed it so that they can feel confident and secure.”

HHS Art/Family and Consumer Science Teacher and FCCLA Sponsor Amy Chambers said her church helped with the project.

“I just wanted to do something special for the kids,” she said. “It started before Christmas. I wanted to buy all of the students some personal hygiene products, and my church group in Cullman, St. John’s Women Fellowship, donated some money for me to be able to buy the products. Once we did that, we started asking for donations and just grew into this. The timing fell on Valentine’s Day, and it just worked out. It’s just to let them know that we’re people and we care about them. I think they all enjoyed it and they’ll appreciate it.”

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Maggie Darnell

maggie@cullmantribune.com