Bain Elementary students feed the homeless

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Bain students made sandwiches on Valentine’s Day for Urban Ministry Center.

On Thursday, February 14, Bain Elementary School students celebrated Valentine’s Day in a different way.  All second grade classes as well as one fourth grade class made over one thousand sandwiches to donate to the Urban Ministry Center.

The interfaith agency, which has been open since December of 1994, brings uptown businesses and congregations together to address the needs of Charlotte’s poor and homeless population in tangible ways.  The 1,188 sandwiches Bain students made will support Urban Ministry Center’s “Operation Sandwich.”

Fourth grade teacher Rachel D’Ambrosio brought Operation Sandwich to Bain last year with her colleague Melodie Marwitz.  “While teaching second grade at my previous school, a former colleague of mine began this tradition during the month of December, and I decided to continue the tradition during the month of February, along with other community service projects,” says D’Ambrosio.  “We called it ‘Love Month.’”

Second and fourth graders participated in the service project.

When both D’Ambrosio and Marwitz transferred to Bain, they continued the project between their two classes.  Because the need is so great at Urban Ministry Center – they distribute about 800 sandwiches per day! – Marwitz came up with the idea this year of expanding the project to all of second grade.

Students included encouraging notes with their sandwiches.

“Seeing the looks on the students’ faces while participating in this ‘hands on’ activity, is priceless,” continues D’Ambrosio.  “We feel like the students get so much more out of it, making the sandwiches versus donating to a food drive, because they are able to experience ‘giving back’ in a more tangible way.”  The project was such a success that the fourth graders are already asking if they can do it again toward the end of the school year.

Bain famlies donated all the materials for making sandwiches.

Urban Ministry Center serves almost 300,000 sandwiches annually.  You can find more information about how to get involved on their website:

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: