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Leadership classes learn about poverty and give back to community

| December 9, 2015
Donations: The Coshocton County Leadership and youth leadership classes came together for their December challenge day to experience a poverty simulation. Participants in the Coshocton Foundation programs also donated toys and food that will be distributed to families struggling financially this holiday season. Pictured are David Edmunds and Anna Egbert, from youth leadership and Matt Drummond and Stephanie Hawkins from the adult leadership class. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

Donations: The Coshocton County Leadership and youth leadership classes came together for their December challenge day to experience a poverty simulation. Participants in the Coshocton Foundation programs also donated toys and food that will be distributed to families struggling financially this holiday season. Pictured are David Edmunds and Anna Egbert, from youth leadership and Matt Drummond and Stephanie Hawkins from the adult leadership class. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

COSHOCTON – Members of the current Coshocton County Leadership and youth leadership classes temporarily stepped in to the lives of those who live in poverty for their joint December challenge day.

“I was a 14-year-old who had to fend for themselves,” said Anna Egbert, who attends the Coshocton Christian School and is part of the youth leadership class. “I don’t think about the need to pay for things. I have a warm bed, a shower, and can get breakfast. A lot of kids wake up and it’s just another day they have to fight for.”

The poverty simulation, set up by Kathy Rednour, executive director of Leadership Ohio, showed the class members what it’s like for families who struggle with paying their utility bills, fear losing their home, wonder where money for groceries is going to come from and more. It also demonstrated the stress this puts on families and how some may drift to illegal activities to help them get by.

“This is real life for a lot of kids,” Egbert said. “It’s sad but eye opening.”

Katie Leitz’s pretend family was one of the many that often struggled with buying groceries.

“We never had enough money for everything,” said Leitz, a Ridgewood High School student in the youth leadership class. “There was always something that got taken away.”

Darcie Keirns, a member of the adult leadership class, also found herself struggling with not having enough money.

“We didn’t eat until the fourth week,” she said. “I had to pay my bills first and then see what I had extra. I paid the electric and gas, but couldn’t afford to brush my teeth or wash the grease out of my hair.”

Even before this challenge day, the members of the adult leadership class decided they wanted to do something to help those in the community who might be struggling financially and came up with the idea to collect non perishable food items and toys to help families have a little bit brighter Christmas.

“This was a group effort,” said Darla Wagner, who came up with the idea. “We wanted to give back to the community in a positive manner and help fulfill needs for all ages. It’s a wonderful feeling to give back to others.”

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Category: Clubs & Organizations

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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