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Lincoln Leaders collect snacks, donations for Ardmore health care workers

Michael D. Smith
The Daily Ardmoreite

Lincoln Elementary School three years ago launched a program for fifth grade students to become role models for younger grades. Dubbed “Lincoln Leaders,” the group selects and executes a community service project each year, according to Principal Lacy Barton. 

Last year the group went to area nursing homes for a project around the Christmas holidays with candy and conversations. This school year being impacted by a coronavirus pandemic made the annual project a bit more difficult.  

“[Amanda] Cramer, my assistance principal, actually found where a school had collected donations for hospitals and said ‘what about this,’” Barton said, adding that Lincoln Leaders jumped on the idea when it was presented. 

Lincoln classes competed by grade level to collect items for front line health care workers at Mercy Hospital Ardmore. Letters and phone calls from school faculty to parents sparked donations of snacks, drinks, lip balms and lotions for doctors and nurses. 

By Friday, Lincoln Elementary School students had raised enough items to fill a hospital bed. Barton said some hospital staff was moved to tears by the massive donation from elementary school students. 

“It was very moving. I was very glad to be there in that moment,” Barton said. 

Lincoln Leaders pose in front of hospital beds and stretchers filled with drink, snacks and other items for Mercy Hospital Ardmore health care workers Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

Collecting the items was different because of the pandemic, so boxes placed in hallways collected items. Because groups of students are mostly quarantined from each other during the school day, three vehicles transported the students to deliver the items in order to follow school protocols. 

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The pandemic has upended life for nearly everybody including Barton and her staff. She was excited but not necessarily surprised by the generous amount of donations collected from families, especially considering many parents also work in health care.  

“We have a very compassionate group of families,” she said. 

“I love the community project that the group of leaders do every year, but this one, I think because so many people are struggling right now...that just really impacted me." 

— To have your classroom's act of kindness featured in the Ardmoreite, send your photos to or contact Michael Smith at