- Sherrard CUSD 200
Pay It Forward - Nourish To Flourish
The Sherrard Nourish To Flourish program is providing a washer and dryer set to schools in Sherrard School District thanks to a sizable anonymous donation to the program in December. Matherville Intermediate, Sherrard Elementary and Winola Elementary schools are getting the sets to help out with accidents or messes made at school.
Nourish to Flourish has provided supplemental food items and basic clothing needs (as well as hygiene items) to children with a need for the past nine years. They serve 72 children total, including both elementary schools and Matherville. Over the past nine years, since the inception of the program, they have served roughly 70 students each year.
Penny Meskan and Kim DeBlock deliver boxes of bagged shelf-stable items to the schools each week, purchased with donations from the Riverbend Food Bank. The bag of supplemental food items is discreetly placed in students' bookbags on Fridays to help with food for the weekend.
Alysse DeBlock said she enjoys seeing her mom, Kim, volunteer, “Watching people help other people is nice - and like there are good things going on in the world.”
Penny’s daughter Charlotte Meskan also helps out, “I feel like they’re really making an impact on the community. It’s special.”
They want to expand to help students learn basic cooking skills.
“Teaching them how to fry an egg, cook up some hamburger, and support them at home. If they’re on their own they can at least be independent and know how to do some of those things safely and provide for their siblings that might be there,” said Meskan.
They were also presented with $300 towards their efforts through the Ascentra Pay It Forward Program through WQAD. They were nominated by Stephanie Godke. The “Pay It Forward” spot will air Thursday on the network.
Godke is passionate about the program, and said she applies for any opportunity to fund the work they do, “Since the beginning of this program it’s been of huge importance to me that no child in the United States goes hungry. This is the land of the free and we’ve got plenty of everything. It’s just that we make sure we take care of our neighbors. Any kind of program where they could qualify for some cash, because this takes cash every week, all year round. Everybody works so hard that when these options are available for such a good cause, I’m after it. I want to get that money for this program.”
All donations to Nourish to Flourish are made through the Moline Foundation.
Left to right, Stephanie Godke, Kim DeBlock, Alyssa DeBlock, Penny Meskan and Charlotte Meskan.