Coronavirus in Virginia

Virginia Eighth Graders Make Homemade Soap to Help Families in Need

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Eighth graders at a Virginia secondary school are working together to make and sell homemade bars of soap and use the proceeds to help families in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lake Braddock Secondary School students are making bars of glycerin soap and giving the money they make to families at the school that have lost their jobs.

Their science teacher David Kelly said he polled his students and found approximately one in four families had lost a job during the pandemic – so he wanted to find a way to help.

"I just love to see how my students have come together and the community has," Kelly said. "It’s about just raising money for parents to help relieve the stress from their students and that’s how I look at it."

Not only are they giving back to the community, but there is an educational aspect to the project. The students are also learning about the chemical properties of soap and how it kills viruses.

"I like making soap. I think it’s a fun way to get us interacted with the teacher," said Kate Avey, one of Kelly’s students.

Another student, Katherine Halick, said she likes to provide support to others in the community through this project.

"I wanted to donate soap and letters to help them feel they’re not alone in this and that we’re all together," Halick said.

The soap is being sold for $10 a piece, and anyone who buys a bar also gets a handwritten thank you note. So far the kids have raised over $6,000.

"We are giving people soap, we are helping a lot of people maybe even get their groceries – pay their rent. And it just taught me something so small can turn into something so big," Avey said.

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