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Barricade Bucket Project

In a remarkable display of community collaboration, the Middletown City School District, Middletown Division of Police, Atrium Medical Center Foundation, and Atrium Medical Center’s Level III Emergency Trauma Center have successfully completed the Barricade Bucket project.

Aimed at enhancing safety in Middletown City Schools, this initiative provides five-gallon buckets filled with emergency supplies, such as toilet paper; hand sanitizer; snack bars; gauze; gloves; flashlights; and band-aids, that teachers can use for students if they’re trapped in a classroom during a crisis or lockdown.

“When Middletown Police brought this project to our attention in fall 2022, Atrium Medical Center had hoped to outfit the middle school and high school classrooms,” says Mandi Arnett, director of nursing at Atrium Medical Center. “That initial undertaking felt daunting, but several partners came forward to support our efforts.”

Eventually, the Barricade Bucket project secured funding for all 465 classrooms and shared spaces across Middletown City Schools. Additionally, collapsible ladders were provided for all 116 second-floor classrooms. The project’s success was made possible by a total of nearly $41,000 in monetary and in-kind donations, combined with generous contributions of supplies from Matthew 25: Ministries.

Several key contributors played pivotal roles in jumpstarting the project. Atrium employees, Foundation donors, First Presbyterian Church in Middletown, Lowe’s, and Matthew 25: Ministries were among the first to answer the call for support.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #2, with support from the Middletown Moose, funded all buckets for Amanda Elementary. “Seeing these buckets delivered inspired the next phase of the project – to provide barricade buckets in all elementary schools,” says Mandi. “Our community immediately stepped up.”

Supporting the project’s second phase were Duke Energy Foundation; the Kiwanis Club of Middletown, with contributions from personal donations and grants from the Middletown Community Foundation and the Ohio District Kiwanis Children’s Fund; the Middletown Rotary Club; and Light Up Middletown.

Middletown schools are now better equipped to ensure the safety and security of their students, thanks to the commitment of Atrium Medical Center Foundation donors and supporters.

“The Middletown community’s collaboration and generosity made this project so impactful,” says Michael D. Stautberg, Foundation president and system vice president of planned giving at Premier Health. “Together, we are ensuring a secure environment for the next generation. This achievement reflects the strength that emerges when hearts, hands, and resources unite for a common cause.”