Applications for Meghan Voisine Kindness Matters Grants are now open to individual students, student organizations and other youth organizations in grades 5-12 who are interested in demonstrating acts of kindness, friendship and inclusion within Suffield. Grants will be awarded and will cover all expenses of the selected projects. Students may work as individuals or as teams. We encourage applicants to be as creative as possible and to show how your project will positively impact the community.
The Kindness Matters Fund was established at Suffield Community Aid (SCA) in honor of our daughter Meghan who was killed by a hit and run driver in October of 2021. Our family received amazing support from the community and a large number of donations were made in her honor. With this fund we hope to remember Meghan and to give back to the community that helped our family by inspiring goodness, acceptance, love and kindness throughout Suffield.
Over the past two years, we have awarded several Meghan Voisine Kindness Matters grants. Amazing young people completed diverse projects that have both helped the community and inspired others. The grant recipients impressed us with their passion and perseverance that contributed to the community in such positive ways. The following grants have been awarded:
- Milo Graham’s Helping You Help Us Project chose over sixty diverse books that are circulated, grade by grade, in the elementary schools for teacher read-aloud. The selected titles all promote kindness, inclusion and the acceptance of all people. They are beautiful stories that warm your heart while sending a positive message about our diverse and loving world.
- Elias Andre, a student at Suffield Middle School, decided on a project that involved other students’ participation in creating a collaborative mural depicting a lotus flower – symbolizing peace. In Elias’ words, “It is hoped that this collaborative artwork will encourage and motivate the heart to choose kindness instead of conflict.” The mural visited many locations throughout town before finding a permanent home at Suffield Middle School.
- Patrick Dugan’s Welcome to Suffield Project campaigned to begin a program that connects Suffield families with out-of-town students.
- Girl Scout Troop 10981 created handmade gift bags including a message of kindness and gift cards from local businesses then randomly gave them out to people at the Suffield Farmer’s Market.
- McAlister Grade 5 Student Council proposed the Kindness Grows in Suffield project which created, printed and displayed beautiful kindness yard signs that were placed around Suffield, then passed on to family, friends or community members in order to spread the kindness message around town.
- The Suffield High School Cooking Club created delicious home-made cupcakes with handwritten notes of appreciation that were distributed to the entire staff at Suffield High School, Suffield Police Station and Kent Memorial Library.
- The High School Library Club created a Diversity of Experience Book Collection with books that chronicle the experiences of different main characters and how they live their lives with a disability or illness. The grant provided a collection to Suffield High School and Kent Memorial Library where the books were highlighted and displayed.
- A grant is in the works to the Suffield High School Interact Club who will create and decorate special boxes to hold sanitary supplies in bathrooms around the school.
- Our final grant recipient, Ellie Finnegan, is working with school administration to bring mental health awareness to the students of Suffield schools.
The 2023/2024 application was released on October 16 and applications may be obtained by contacting Danielle Annibalini at Suffield Community Aid (DanielleA@SuffieldCommunityAid.org) or on-line at the Suffield School websites. All applications must be submitted by Friday, December 1st and awards to the selected projects will be made in January 2024.