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20160506-rescue-mission4A group of students from Goff Middle School put down their pencils and picked up serving spoons as they learned important lessons in kindness on Friday. They volunteered at a homeless shelter in Albany where they donated food and clothing, as well as their time.

The students learned about budgeting in class by using coupons to purchase $422 worth of food and toiletries for just $55. All of the items were boxed up and delivered to the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany’s South End neighborhood. They also donated 565 articles of clothing.

Afterward, the middle school students helped prepare lunch for the shelter’s residents. The students wore white aprons and food service hats as they dished out hot meals and brought the trays of food to the men and women seated at tables.

20160506-rescue-mission1“It reminds you to be happy for what you have,” said 6th grader Kyson White.

Capital City Rescue Mission serves about 700 meals a day, has an emergency shelter for the homeless and drug addiction recovery programs.

“I love to have kids come in,” said Debra Poczatek, the Capital City Rescue Mission’s volunteer coordinator. “It’s so energizing for our residents and for us.”

As lunch ended, the cafeteria cleared out and the students prepared for the next meal by cleaning the tables and floors.

20160506-rescue-mission5The experience benefitted Goff’s students just as much as they’re service helped others.

“You have to learn about actual morals. When you do hands-on stuff, it’s engraved in your brain,” said 7th grader Jocelyn Bishop.