Spreading Kindness In A Sweet-Smelling Way!

The Intense Interventions students make “Kindness” their business motto.


Olivia Miller, Staff Writer

Everyone in this world has a purpose. At Elkhart High School, there is a very important group of students who make this world a better place for everyone:  the Intense Interventions students.

They make it their business to spread kindness throughout the building, uplifting the school and making the days brighter and more fragrant. The students in the Intense Interventions classes are participating in a business enterprise called “Kindness Enterprises.”  There are three parts to the business enterprise: Kindness Cafe, Kindness Ala Carte, and Kindness Crafts.

The latter–Kindness Crafts–focuses on making homemade candles, soaps, and baked goods. Their secret ingredient? Love. Each bar of soap or candle is handcrafted. And, each product is lovingly signed by its maker. But, while the scent or flavor may change, their hard work put into their products remains unchanged. They are an inspiration to everyone. 

At the moment, their products are only available in each School of Study’s break room, where teachers and administrators can obtain them. However, these baked goods and handmade crafts will be available to students and the public at large during the fall bazaar being held on Oct. 18-19 in the Media Center’s “The Idea Box.” The cost for items will be between $5 to $15.

Some of the scents that will be available feature a fall theme: apple pie, pumpkin spice, and black licorice. In addition, many of the soaps will be molded into Halloween shapes. Mrs. Tracey Weirich, who is spearheading the operation, is excited about the adventure. “We hope our customers will like them just as much as we do!” She hopes to tantalize customers by noting that delicious cinnamon rolls will also be available for purchase at the bazaar.

Getting down to “business” was years in the making with this group. Weirich started molding candles with her students in 2018 and then added the soap making the following year, in 2019. And, Weirich insists, it’s never been about the money. She believes that her students enjoy making these candles and soaps. “Each student gets to pick out scents and colors to add to our wax or soap base,” Weirich explains. “They enjoy watching the ingredients melt in our melter and seeing how it turns out in the end–especially the soaps!” More than just having endless amounts of fun making them, these students are learning new skills while doing so.

Nationwide, the percentage of people with disabilities who are unemployed or underemployed is vast. Due to the Kindness Crafts, students in the Intense Interventions class learn life skills that can help them in the future. Some of these essential skills include following verbal directions, developing fine motor skills, making decisions, learning money-management skills, speaking to customers in appropriate ways, following a schedule, being creative, following multi-step directions, and finding work that interests them–skills that every person needs to succeed in life.

Weirich concludes, “What we are trying to do in the Intense Interventions department is to find activities that the students enjoy and that hold their interest while practicing many of the skills they will need to maintain employment when they are adults.”

One thing is for certain, when these students leave Elkhart High School, they will definitely come out smelling like a rose…or lavender…or apple pie…or whatever fragrance they choose!