The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of anxiety for our students. Arkansas schools have been closed for almost a month now, and will not be opening back up again this semester. And while it is all too easy for many to feel down, a high school student in Conway is making the most of it, taking the opportunity to help those who are less fortunate.
Maggie Batson, a junior at Conway High School, is in a similar situation to many Arkansas students right now. Her ability to physically attend school has been taken away, following the recent statewide closure. She will miss prom. Her soccer season has been cut short. Maggie’s entire future is beclouded in uncertainty. But she’s not alone, and she is well aware that plenty of her peers have it much worse. For students at her school and around the state, schools being closed has created food insecurities. She wants to help them.
Like her brothers, John and Bobby, Maggie is a talented young thespian, herself an actress in various television shows, movies and shorts. As proud as she is of these accomplishments, she is equally proud of her philanthropy work, for which she was featured on PBS‘ Biz Kid$ in 2012. She’s tapping back into that spirit with this quarantined endeavor of hers, raising money to provide box lunches to students in need during this time.
“COVID-19 has given Conway kids an unexpected Spring Break extension,” Maggie says on her campaign’s fundraising page. “While some students are celebrating, others are now left without stable meals for the next few weeks. Prom has been canceled and though this is upsetting, we can use this as an opportunity to help our fellow students. Tickets to prom are usually $20, but we are asking you to donate half of that to Conway High School’s Box Lunches program.”
From April 4-11, Maggie is asking her peers to have their own version of prom this year, perhaps even a more fulfilling one. Students are encouraged to dress up, treat themselves to a nice dinner, donate $10 to her fundraising campaign and then post a picture of themselves on social media with the hashtag #HungerPROMise2020.
“By donating to the page and posting prom-themed photos to social media, these kids can regain some sense of normalcy and connection, while also providing meals to those in need,” Maggie’s mother, Rachel Batson, says. “We will all get through this and look back on the lessons learned throughout this ordeal.”
To donate to Maggie’s fundraiser and help feed students in need, click here.
See below for the video Maggie made to help spread the word through YouTube and Tik Tok.