By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Madison Elementary School educators, community members and students recently teamed up to create a GoFundMe campaign called “Feed3,” which benefits local restaurants, students and nurses.
The GoFundMe was started on April 15 by Madison Elementary Principal Ben Barkey. Funds raised are used to purchase family-style food from local restaurants, with the meals given by Madison students to nurses who are working in healthcare facilities.
Under the direction of teachers, students who go above and beyond in learning during the school’s shutdown are given the opportunity to write a letter to a nurse. That nurse and their family are then given a free meal from a local restaurant.
Madison’s GoFundMe campaign is called the “Feed3” initiative since it feeds students’ minds by giving them real-world learning experiences; feeds local restaurants by helping financially support them during the pandemic; and by feeding the family of a nurse with a free meal.
As of Tuesday, April 21, the campaign has raised $3,356. Madison’s PTO donated $400 to the initiative. Currently, Madison has partnered with three local restaurants for this initiative, including Cerulean, Rua and Noa Noa.
According to GoFundMe updates posted by Barkey, one of the first meals in this initiative went to Jess Vander Molen, Madison Elementary’s school nurse. When the school shut down, Vander Molen went to work at Goshen Hospital to join in the fight against the virus.
“As educators, we want to impact our students’ lives through real-world learning experiences,” said Barkey on the GoFundMe campaign’s page. “As community members, we want to support our local businesses who have worked hard to make our city a better place. As people, we want to lift up our heroes who make personal sacrifices to help those in need.”
Those interested in donating to the GoFundMe can do so here.