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South Hills

Pleasant Hills students create care packs for those in need

| Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

Friends Gail Manculich and Michelle Danielson — both active in the PTA at McClellan Elementary School — want their daughters to understand the importance of giving back.

“We wanted them to realize there are people who are less fortunate,” Manculich said.

That's when Manculich and Danielson got the idea of having their daughters — Josie Manculich and Shannon Danielson — as well as the rest of their children's classmates, put together more than 100 blessing bags to distribute to Pittsburgh's homeless community.

They asked each grade in the school — kindergarten through fifth — to donate an item. First-graders, for example, brought in 250 pairs of socks. Second-graders, meanwhile, donated 392 breakfast bars. Overall, 105 bars of soap, 106 tubes of lip balm, 120 bottles of water and 103 hand sanitizers were donated. The kids placed the items in boxes outside each classroom.

“It filled up two vehicles,” Danielson said.

“We want to teach the children to be solid citizens,” Manculich said.

Around 20 or so McClellan fifth-graders met Feb. 2 at the Pleasant Hills Borough Building to assemble the bags. Manculich donated 100 cinch bags to the effort. Pizza was provided.

“It's nice to be able to do this because of what people have done for you,” Shannon Danielson said.

Added Josie Manculich: “I've learned to give back to help the less fortunate.”

The moms plan to give the assembled bags to members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, who will give them out to people without homes after their matinee performances. Any leftover items will be donated to a local homeless shelter, Gail Manculich said.

“The response to this has been overwhelming,” Michelle Danielson said.

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at selliott@tribweb.com or 412-871-2346.

Josie Manculich (in pink), a fifth-grader at McClellan Elementary, and classmates put together 'blessing bags' for homeless individuals at Pleasant Hills Borough Building on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. The school collected items such as blankets, toiletries and snacks for the bags.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Josie Manculich (in pink), a fifth-grader at McClellan Elementary, and classmates put together 'blessing bags' for homeless individuals at Pleasant Hills Borough Building on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. The school collected items such as blankets, toiletries and snacks for the bags.
Bella Kear (middle), a fifth-grader at McClellan Elementary, and classmates put together 'blessing bags' for homeless individuals at Pleasant Hills Borough Building on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. The school collected items such as blankets, toiletries and snacks for the bags.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Bella Kear (middle), a fifth-grader at McClellan Elementary, and classmates put together 'blessing bags' for homeless individuals at Pleasant Hills Borough Building on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. The school collected items such as blankets, toiletries and snacks for the bags.
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