A personal story and the pandemic prompted Tiffany Edlebeck and her Howard Kindergarten class to provide thank you bags for local nurses.
Teacher Tiffany Edlebeck’s personal experience drives her passion
By: Kimberly Uelmen, Communications Specialist
As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work. Kindergarten students in Tiffany Edlebeck’s class are learning about the HSSD Graduate Profile and that a collaborator is someone who is helpful and shares responsibility while working toward a common goal.
The youngsters collaborated in celebration of local health care professionals who embody that characteristic every day. Edlebeck recently received a $250 grant from Thrivent Action Teams with the goal of creating a positive change in the community, so she decided to enlist her Kindergarten students in creating thank you bags for nurses.
The reason for selecting nurses for this good deed is two-fold. First, Edlebeck recognizes the immense effort shown by healthcare professionals during the pandemic. Second, Edlebeck and her family were the recipients of care and compassion by nurses on the St. Vincent Pediatric floor during a near-tragedy. Five years ago, Edlebeck’s daughter had an urgent, yet routine surgery. Due to a complication during the procedure, her daughter was placed on a ventilator. Luckily, her daughter recovered and the impact nurses made on her family is long-lasting.
“That changes a person,” Edlebeck said. “Even though it was terrifying, what I took away was how amazing nurses are. The kindness the nurses showed made a huge difference in my life and my daughter’s life. Five years later, this is one way of saying thank you.”
Upon deciding to create these thank you bags for nurses, Edlebeck used the experience to help her students understand the importance of collaboration. She explained, “We talked about how if one person does not do his or her job, the entire project would not be completed.”
“I call my students leaders on a daily basis,” she continued. “This project solidified that for them. This was the next step to see themselves as true leaders.”
Examples such as this prove why Edlebeck is a leader at Howard. Kristin Ashley, Howard principal, said, “Tiffany leads with heart and passion. She is a strong leader based on her humility and kindness for others.”
To fill the thank you bags, each Kindergarten student was assigned a role. Some filled bags, others colored bags, while a few moved bags from the end of the production line to the location for delivery.
Candy filled each bag and each type of candy had a specific meaning. For example, life savers were included to remind nurses that they are life savers for local families. Edlebeck said, “It is an honor to use our talents to celebrate this noble profession.”
Edlebeck delivered the treats to the St. Vincent Hospital Pediatric Floor, St. Mary’s Hospital, and Bellin Hospital. Nurses received individual bags, along with baskets filled with treats and beverages which were placed in staff lounges.
Kelly Steavpack, Edlebeck’s Kindergarten teacher teammate, said, “Tiffany works hard to build memorable life-experiences with her students. She cares tremendously and leads within her classroom and in our building with compassion, knowledge, and zest. She is an amazing teacher and leader.”
About Thrivent Action Teams
Thrivent Action Teams allow individuals and groups to make a positive impact in local communities. Thrivent offers all the resources needed to get started including up to $250 in seed money. Learn more about Thrivent Action Teams.