When Mount Rainer High School teacher, Kari Robins, heard about a local non-profit group, Dignity for Divas, she told her students. Robins was surprised the next day when her students told her that they wanted to have a “Diva Drive,” where they – with the support of other grades – would gather daily toiletry items to be given to homeless women. They established a Facebook page, put together a presentation about Dignity for Divas and went class to class presenting it, and spoke to families and community members. A month later, the students had gathered more than 1,200 personal hygiene items to fill Diva Survival kits – exceeding their goal of 500 items.
“I saw a piece about Dignity for Divas on the news and immediately thought it was a great idea,” says Robins. “I think it’s important to teach my kids about giving back and, when they suggested doing this, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to do something, instead of just talk about something.”
When the students gathered 200 items, Robins reached out to Dignity for Divas Founder, Nikki Gane. “We were thrilled to hear that the students wanted to get involved,” said Gane. “And when they said they had 1,200 items, I was blown away.”
Ninth grader, Jasmine Flores was excited to help. “Although I have done volunteer work in the past, I felt that Dignity for Divas drive was far more personal and diverse. We, as students, have planned this whole drive out; taking time from our own schedules to make the lives of homeless women in Seattle better. I have enjoyed the opportunity to help these women. I love the way that we’ve used our time to creatively spread the word and get donations from students, staff, and even people outside of the school.”
To support donation efforts, Nikki Gane spoke at Mt. Rainer High School on March 19, addressing the students about giving back, opening your heart, and not judging the homeless people they walk past on the street.
After speaking to the students, this is what Nikki wrote:
Words cannot express the gratitude that I feel. I am so overwhelmed with all of the support from the students and Staff at Mt Rainier High School. I am so happy to know that there are still great teachers out there that care about their students and their community. When I received the news that Mt Rainier was doing a Diva Drive I was so thankful. When I arrived at the school, I was completely taken by surprise by the tables full of donations they collected.
What an awesome group of Students!! It was such a blessing to share with you my story and tell them a bit about my life. I am forever grateful for the time and energy the Staff, Students and the Student Advisory put towards generated such a successful drive.