By Kelsey Musick
Thanks to Jasmine Pittman, 8, a Boone Meadow Elementary School third-grader, several mailboxes in the Eagles Nest neighborhood are adorned with red ribbons, all in the name of Wheeler Mission’s Center for Women and Children.
Pittman started the Red Ribbon Project during Genius Hour, a time built into the school day that allows students to research a topic of their choosing. According to Nick Burch, Pittman’s teacher, the idea for Genius Hour originated from Google headquarters, where employees have an hour to explore passion projects.
Pittmans’s passion was learning about the homeless population in Indianapolis and discovering ways to help.
“Jasmine is a hard-working young lady who loves helping others,” Burch said. “This project is definitely an example of how she loves to help those around her.”
According to Burch, the project was Pittman’s idea. But when it came to fruition, more students were interested in helping.
“Her project was a great way to inform our students of the importance of giving back to your community and helping those in need,” Burch said.
With the support of her mother, Carol Pittman, Jasmine discussed various options and chose to sell the bows because the family could work on the project together at home.
Jasmine set a goal of selling 30 sets of bows for a profit of $100. She surpassed the goal by several hundred dollars.
“I expected (the project) to be way littler,” Jasmine said.
According to Carol, the response from neighbors was overwhelming, to the point where they had to cut sales off after 140 sets sold due to time constraints.
“Many donated more than the $5 sale price,” Carol said. “With help from family, we purchased over $700 in needed items for the Wheeler Mission Center. It was a wonderful experience.”
Jasmine said she wants to work more with the Wheeler Mission Center in the future.
“(The project) means a lot to me, knowing that I am helping homeless people,” Jasmine said. “It’s a really nice thing to do.”