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Students raise awareness, money for March of Dimes

By Annie McCallum, Montgomery Advertiser

781 days ago   Article ID# 1474294
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March of Dimes

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA (Montgomery Advertiser) - A group of Brewbaker students took a trip to Baptist Health's neonatal intensive care unit recently, and were so moved by the tiny babies there that they decided to do something to help.

On Monday, students from Brewbaker Middle and Brewbaker Technology Magnet High schools teamed up for the first time to hold a March of Dimes Walk. In advance of the walk, students created and sold T-shirts, with the proceeds going to the March of Dimes, a nonprofit focused on preventing birth defects, infant mortality and premature birth.

Students ended up selling more than 250 shirts at $15 each. Monday they donned the purple shirts emblazoned with the phrase "Babies are priceless" and walked the campus to raise awareness.

Brew Tech senior Sarah Bates-Barry said seeing the small babies, who could barely breath, was so sad and made a real impact on her.

"Just seeing that made me want to do something about it," she said. "It hit me like a sack of bricks."

The 17-year-old said she knew preemies face certain health challenges, but until she actually saw the babies in the neonatal unit it was difficult to really understand.

"Seeing is believing. It did really impact me," she said, adding, "The March of Dimes is an amazing organization."

So, members of the two schools' Future Business of America Club and Distributive Education Clubs of America got together to make a fundraiser for the March of Dimes a reality.

Brew Tech teacher Janice Jackson, who is also an FBLA adviser, said the fundraiser was a real opportunity for her students to give back to the community. Since their visit to Baptist in November, they have been eager to help, she said.

"They were so fascinated with the little babies ... It really sparked an interest to want to know why they were so premature," she said, adding students asked what they could do to help.

She said the students' reactions have been powerful.

"It's just amazing," Jackson said.

Linda Gross, senior community director for March of Dimes, attended the walk and was excited about the students' passion.

She said it's a great opportunity for students to be a part of making a difference.

"We have so much need and doing something like this gives young people a voice in the community," she said.

Gross said her organization helps to fund research and services for babies born premature.

"They are saving babies and having fun," she said of the Brewbaker students. "It's a beautiful thing."

Copyright 2014 Montgomery Advertiser   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 781 days ago   Article ID# 1474294

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