NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) —Over the past couple of months, vocational students across Massachusetts and Rhode Island have been working hard, using their carpentry skills to impact the community and give back to families.

Their contribution to Rosemary's Wish Kids Inc., an initiative to bring joy to sick children through custom playhouses aligned with a child's three interests, highlights the incredible impact of vocational education and student initiative.

Students from Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech and Diman Regional Voc-Tech High School in Fall River represented the SouthCoast by participating in this year's wish houses project.

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Each school designed and created a playhouse specifically crafted for a child, which was then showcased at this year's Rhode Island home show in Providence.

For students in GNB Voc-Tech's electrical and carpentry programs, they aimed to craft an "Ice Cream House" for a child named Hailey.

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

GNB Voc-Tech participated for the first time in this heartwarming project.

Superintendent-Director Michael Watson called the "Ice Cream House" "a testament to the students' dedication, creativity, and technical skills."

"Watching our students pour their talent and compassion into creating something so magical for Hailey reaffirms the value of our programs far beyond the classroom," he said.

"It's not just about building a playhouse; it's about building character, empathy, and a sense of community," Watson said. "This is the embodiment of what we strive to achieve at GNBVT, and seeing the impact this project has on both Hailey and our students is truly inspiring."

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

About Rosemary's Wish Houses

Rosemary's Wish Kids, Inc. is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children and young adults ages three through 21 with life-threatening illnesses who live in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The organization has always had a second program, Kids Helping Kids, but only on a small scale. Eight years ago, they were asked about starting a program involving high school students.

Rosemary Bowers, the organization's founder, collaborated with high school career and technical programs to help build playhouses or "wish houses" for some of their children, ages three to 12.

Designing Wish Houses began with about five schools until they were invited last year to showcase the houses at the 74th RI Home Show. Today, the houses have become such a success that they have grown to 15 schools, building houses for 15 children.

Bowers said that every moment leading up to the reveal at the home show was special for the families and students involved. Parents were amazed at the final designs, and the students escorted the child to the playhouse.

Contributed Photo
Contributed Photo

"Teachers were teary-eyed to see the significance and impact this had on the students and how much pride they had in their work. Their teachers give them guidance and skill techniques as they will be our future tradesmen," she said.

The hard work of these students has impacted the lives of so many families. They embodied the spirit of giving and the power of practical skills to make a real difference in the community.

You can learn more about how to partner with the organization on the Rosemary's Wish Houses website. In the meantime, keep scrolling to see the incredible houses designed by local students.

"Wish Houses" Created by Massachusetts and Rhode Island Students

Rosemary's Wish Kids is a non-profit organization that grants wishes to ill children between the ages of 3 and 12. Students from vocational programs in Massachusetts and Rhode Island collaborate by building playhouses or "wish houses" specifically designed for each child. 

Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey

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