Some small students from Woodlawn School have made a big difference in their community.

Jennifer Cuppage's class of Grade 1 students was instrumental in getting Steinbach Community Outreach a washer and dryer set, a luxury the non-profit organization has never had. The new machinery was delivered to Outreach on Tuesday in front of staff, volunteers, guests, and the class-full of students responsible.

However, a lot had to take place before the recent donation. Drop-In Centre Coordinator Myra Gerbrandt says the ball had already started rolling last fall. The students toured Outreach's facilities back in September and were surprised to find that the organization did not have a washing machine to launder donations.

Young Mercedes Buhler says she and her fellow classmates were concerned for Outreach guests who might not be able to wash their clothes, so they decided to take action into their own hands.

“We wrote letters to Dufresne and other furniture companies and Dufresne said ‘yes’ to donating.”

When asked why they chose to do this, student Benjamin Boese responded: “We wanted to help Steinbach Community Outreach so they can wash all of their clothes without having to throw them away.”

Dufresne Store Manager Barry Kohut says the donation was not a difficult one to make.

“This was an absolute no-brainer.” states Kohut, “Kids of this age coming up with this idea on their own and wanting to help such an essential program in Steinbach shows that they have such warm open hearts.”

The Woodlawn students played in the Outreach nursery while waiting for Dufresne to deliver the appliances.

Meanwhile, Gerbrandt was equally floored at the children’s drive and compassion and says it was amazing to see them latch onto this simple idea.

With these new appliances, Outreach will be able to provide a service they have never before been able to offer. Gerbrandt explains: “There is really no laundry access in Steinbach so we now have the opportunity to tangibly help our guests.” She adds that they will also be able to wash quality donations that might just be a little bit dirty.

Gerbrandt thanks both the Woodlawn schoolchildren for their compassion and Dufresne Furniture for their generous and enabling donation.