HARRIS' HEROES

'Packaged With Care' program helps local special needs students help others

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Some local special needs students are turning the tables and becoming the ones to reach out and help others.

The Fairfax County Special Education students and their teacher, Megan Gaeta, are behind the new initiative.

The lessons in this one particular classroom are not found on the pages of school books—but rather, in the bags of comfort and care they deliver to local people in need every week.

"It makes me feel like, really happy and everything. I've always wanted to help people," student Maceo Snowden.

Students with, and without, special needs - partners on this team of charity.

"So I think it's really cool because we're always helping people," said student Autumn Guckert.

With donated funds in hand, they go shopping for supplies. This week, the team are putting together hygiene bags for men, women and children at a local shelter.

It “makes me feel great about it,” said student Brittany Buy.

They've also delivered school supply bags to the YMCA, arts and crafts bags to kids in the hospital, and care kits to homeless shelters.

"Well it's really impacted me as a whole because I'm not as selfish and I see there's people that really, really need help and it's a really good feeling to see the people we're helping,” said student Kelsey Mercuro.

Packaged With Care, as the program is called, is the brainchild of teacher Megan Gaeta, who wanted her students to learn about doing good, while also learning about each other.

“They're learning a lot that everybody is the same, we're just different in our own ways," Gaeta said.

It is a test in compassion and understanding—and these kids are passing with flying colors.

If you are interested in donating funds to Packaged with Care, you can email the teacher in charge of the program at mdgaeta@fcps.edu.

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