By John McGreevy, TJJD Communications 

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Working with the youth in our care, their success is measured in many ways. High on the list is when they can experience firsthand the importance of doing something for others, for their communities.

In this instance, youth from the Giddings State School got an opportunity to give back to the community by building and painting five wooden rocking horses and donating them to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, in Austin.

Two students, A.G. and C.S., helped deliver the horses, all beautifully made and carefully painted, to the Ronald McDonald House last week.

Paula Duke, the Volunteer and Programs Director at the Ronald McDonald House, was there to greet the young men and she told them a little bit about the role of the Ronald McDonald House.

“Ronald McDonald House Charities is an organization that takes care of families while their child is in the hospital or being treated in long-term outpatient treatments,” she said.

“The families that are staying here are going through something very stressful,” Duke continued, “and whether the rocking horses will be used for a child that’s in the hospital or a sibling, they will be very much appreciated, for having something like this donated at their time of crisis.”Ronald McDonald kiddo on a rocking horse

“Giddings reached out to us and let us know that this was something that they were doing and they wondered if this was something that we would find useful,” Duke said. 

The answer to that question can be found on the smile of the toddler shown here. He was among the first Ronald McDonald recipients of this donation from TJJD.

Giddings students designed and made the rocking horses in Martin Rangel’s woodshop/construction technology classes and then painted them in Michelle Silcox’s art classes.

The trip was a learning opportunity, and both young men represented their school and TJJD well. A.G. expressed that they were “happy to be able to do something for the kids,” and they are hoping to be able to do it again.RonadlMcDonald 4sml

Credit for this great work and partnership goes to all the youths involved, as well as the teachers and to Education Director Shelley McKinley and Giddings State School Assistant Principal Tracey Walker and all the members of staff who helped out with this project.

(Photos: TJJD Communications and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas.)