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Nunez donates Blessing Bags to Horizon

Lauren Nunez, a 2018 graduate of The Center for Rural Development’s Rogers Scholars program, knew exactly what she wanted to do for her community service project.

“At the beginning of the school year, I asked the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Club if I could be the leader of a project this year,” said Nunez, a junior at Harlan High School. “They quickly agreed, and I told them that I wanted to organize a Blessing Bags project for Horizon Adult Health Care.”

Nunez announced the Rogers Scholars community service project at the first FBLA club meeting of the 2018-19 school year.

During the next four weeks, club members collected an assortment of personal care hygiene items (soap, toothpaste, washcloths, travel-size shampoo, etc.) for the Blessing Bags. Each plastic bag contained these items along with a note of encouragement from an FBLA member.

“Living in Harlan County has opened my eyes to the extreme poverty in our region of Kentucky,” Nunez said. “I have always been involved at Horizon, performing there with my choir around Christmas, but it felt amazing to give back to the daycare in a different way through this project.”

The FBLA club members donated Blessing Bags (with a total estimated value of $750) to 145 people at Horizon Adult Health Care.

“The Blessing Bags were very thoughtful and made my clients feel as though they had not been forgotten,” said Melissa Witt, nurse director at Horizon Adult Health Care. “Thank you for your kindness and making my clients feel special. It was greatly appreciated.”

Nunez coordinated the Blessing Bags project under the supervision of club sponsor Shawn Doss, a technology teacher at Harlan High School. One of the challenges the club faced was keeping all of its members informed about the project in a timely manner.

The club secretary came up with a solution and used an app to message club members and keep everyone up-to-date on the status of the project.

“I hope the Blessing Bags project becomes a tradition for the FBLA club,” Nunez said. “It was incredible knowing my club made a difference in the lives of patients at Horizon.”

Nunez, daughter of Matt Nunez and Brandee Nunez, of Harlan, graduated from the 2018 Class of Rogers Scholars. Each graduate is required to complete a community service project within one year after completing the program.

Rogers Scholars — The Center for Rural Development’s flagship youth program—is an intensive one-week summer camp that provides valuable leadership experience and exclusive college scholarship opportunities to help rising high school juniors in Southern and Eastern Kentucky seize their full potential as the region’s next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.

For more information about Rogers Scholars, contact Allison Cross, community liaison and youth programs coordinator, at 606-677-6019 or email across@centertech.com. Visit www.centeryouthprograms.com to learn more about the Rogers Scholars program.