I’m the proud adviser of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) chapter at Tipton Middle School (TMS) in Tipton, IN. In January, my students held a pillow drive for a nearby senior assisted living home, Miller’s Merry Manor. We dubbed it the “Pass the Pillow” drive, and it was a success! The drive showed students how small acts of kindness and giving can make a big difference in an elderly person’s life.

Last year, Miller’s Merry Manor reached out to me at TMS with a request. They were in desperate need of extra blankets. Because of COVID-19 and the fear of it spreading, staff members in the nursing home needed more blankets for residents to use while other blankets were being cleaned. Our NJHS members were able to donate over 340 blankets—some hand-tied by members and others purchased by families.

Pillow Drive
Donations for the “Pass the Pillow” drive at Tipton Middle School in Tipton, IN.

This year, I reached out to Miller’s Merry Manor to see if they again needed help. And staff let us know that they did in fact need extra pillows for their residents. With yet another wave of COVID-19, the home was struggling to provide enough clean pillows. Once again, students were excited to help this community, and they donated 154 pillows to the home.

While they couldn’t enter the facility due to COVID-19 health protocols, the students were able to present the pillows outside of Miller’s Merry Manor to grateful staff members, who immediately distributed them to residents.

When NJHS students are not collecting pillows and blankets for Miller’s Merry Manor, they are doing other important work to help their community—everyone in our chapter must perform at least three hours of volunteer work each year. Some of the students help at a food bank or sort and clean donations at a local secondhand store that sells clothing and household items.

But we have a special bond with Miller’s Merry Manor, and its residents can count on us if they need help next year, and in the years to come.

About the Author

Carolyn Friend is a speech-language pathologist and NJHS adviser at Tipton Middle School in Tipton, IN.


  • Bob Lichtenberger says:


  • Beth Cauthen says:

    Awesome! We reached out to a local home for women escaping domestic violence and asked what they needed. Among the usual items of personal hygeine and cleaning supplies, they requested bed pillows! I would have never thought of this, and they were thrilled when we donated over $1,000 of suppies and pillows for their residents!

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