Mandy Walters, nurse manager in the step-down unit at Baptist DeSoto, and her 13-year old niece, Olivia, are working to address bullying in schools.
Olivia has moved a lot in her short life. One thing she noticed moving from school to school is that often kids are bullied for lack of hygiene, and that hygiene often results from financial issues at home. When she enrolled at Olive Branch Middle School, Olivia wanted to develop a community project to honor her brother Max, who passed away at 4 months old, almost seven years ago. She worked with her teacher to create Max’s Mission, an anonymous hygiene product collection program at her school.
Through Max’s Mission, students can visit the guidance counselor’s office anonymously to pick up soap, shampoo, deodorant and feminine products. The program is kept anonymous because often the students’ families can’t afford to pay for the products, and the students could be bullied as a result.
“Olivia has a heart of gold, always putting others’ needs before her own,” said Walters.
When the head nurse in Mandy’s unit found out about the program, she designated Max’s Mission as the unit’s unofficial philanthropy for several months. Team members on the unit and all over Baptist DeSoto donated items to the project. Thanks to a grant and donations from local businesses, Olivia hopes to grow the program to other schools in the area.
“Olivia’s teachers are amazed with the program,” said Mandy. “She was nominated as an excellent eighth grader this year.”
Olivia lives with Mandy and wants to be a cardiothoracic surgeon when she grows up.
If you have any questions or if you would like to donate to Max’s Mission, you can reach Mandy at email@example.com.