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Menomonee Falls students find inspiration to help others

Future Business Leaders of America partners with Habitat for Humanity to collect shoes

Menomonee Falls High School Business Academy students participated in a service learning project by spending the day working on Habitat for Humanity job sites in West Bend. The students decided to take their service a step further and start a shoe collection project in partnership with Habitat.

Menomonee Falls High School Business Academy students participated in a service learning project by spending the day working on Habitat for Humanity job sites in West Bend. The students decided to take their service a step further and start a shoe collection project in partnership with Habitat.

Dec. 15, 2013

Menomonee Falls — One day can go a long way.

A group of Menomonee Falls High School Business Academy students learned that lesson firsthand when they participated in a service learning project by spending the day working on Habitat for Humanity job sites in West Bend.

Habitat for Humanity is a housing organization building simple, decent and affordable housing for families in need.

The group of about 20 students, led by educator Laurie Wanta, helped clean one Habitat house, and transported plywood for a side-by-side home that is currently under construction. They were so inspired by their volunteer work that the high school's Future Business Leaders of America decided to take the service project a step further and partner with Habitat for Humanity to collect new and used shoes for families served by the organization.

"Everyone had that warm feeling inside helping everyone out," sophomore Casey Seidl said.

During the day, the students wrote "Future Business Leaders of America" on a board that was used to construct the home's infrastructure. Habitat lets volunteers write their names on boards so they will forever be a part of the home they helped build.

"It was really nice to see all the thousands of people that really helped out this one family," 10th-grader Tony Thorn said. "That was really nice to see that people just cared about this one family."

The day of service complimented the students' business unit focused on nonprofit organizations. The students visited the Habitat ReStore, a resale shop that raises funds for the housing projects, to see the business side of nonprofits. The students then examined the ReStore financial statements in their accounting class.

It was Wanta who set up the service project, but it was the students who were inspired by their experience to take it a step further. The students are now collecting used or new shoes to be donated to Habitat, sophomore Maddie Thomas said. Shoes can be dropped off at the high school where bins will be set up throughout the building.

The project will be presented in April at the Future Business Leaders of America state competition.

"It does make you feel good to help," 10th-grader Chelsie Miskowski said.

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