CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It started as a service project. Make sandwiches for those in need.
But fourth graders at Providence Spring Elementary have turned “Operation Sandwich” into a life-changing assignment.
"They're not as fortunate as we are and it feels good to help them because we might need help sometime and we'd want someone to help us too,” said 10-year-old Annalise Kircik.
Kircik and her fellow students are on the front line, spending time throughout the week, making thousands of sandwiches for those in need.
"They just soak it in. They are so amazed at what they can do to make a difference in the world,” said fourth-grade teacher Linda O’Connor.
The students and teachers credit the enthusiasm with a visit the kids had before the first sandwich was ever made.
Organizers of the project invited two people from Charlotte’s Urban Ministry to speak to the students.
Because of the visit, a week of sandwich making became something big, real big, in the eyes of the students, teachers and parent volunteers.
"A lot of people don't get it. They call them homeless, but they're really not,” said 10-year-old Isabel Riggs. She says a better name is “neighbors.”
"Trust me, your neighbors care. You will love this gift,” said 9-year-old Nick Horton as he read the note he wrote on the brown bag he was sending to Urban Ministry Center.
"It seems really nice and you get a really warm feeling in yourself when you know you're doing something for a really good reason,” said Riggs.