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Principal Notices HUGE Drop In Attendance & Investigates. Days Later, 1 Call Changes Everything

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Oct. 8, 2016

There are many reasons why kids don’t show up to school. Sickness (real or imagined) is a common complaint, as is just plain being lazy.

School isn’t most kids’ favorite thing, and so it’s not surprising when they don’t show up occasionally. But when there are droves of students missing from classrooms, questions start getting asked.

Dr. Melody Gunn is the principal of an elementary school in St. Louis Missouri. She noticed that a lot of students weren’t showing up, and that class attendance was at an all-time low.

Concerned, Gunn decided to take to the streets and find out why these kids weren’t in class. She visited their homes to inquire, and what she found both shocked and saddened her.

“We heard ‘we didn’t have clean clothes,’ students were feeling like ‘well I can’t come to school cause my clothes aren’t clean.'”

The reasons were numerous, but common. One girl said “We have a washer and dryer at home, it’s just that our electricity was shut off.” Another young boy confided that “We had no clean clothes because we only had a little bit of money and we used that money for food.”

Horrified that something as simple as laundry would keep her students from school, Principal Gunn leapt into action and contacted Whirlpool to see if they could help her out.

To her surprise, they not only responded positively, they started looking into this problem and found that dozens of other schools were suffering the same fate. They started the “Care Counts” program, working with over 30 schools to make washers and dryers available to students on campus.

“They want you to put as many clothes as you can fit in a bag,” said one girl who is thrilled about the new additions to the school, “and then they have you bring them to the school and they wash them.”

Thanks to this proactive principal, attendance is up and children have gained a level of confidence they never knew before. It’s amazing how something as simple as clean clothes can change a child’s entire outlook on life. It’s a good reminder to look for the little things you can help with: you never know how much your small gesture of kindness might mean to someone who really needs it.