In third grade, Anna Rosier's teacher asked her class to do a good deed during winter break.

Anna decided she would deliver food and other useful items to downtown Columbus' homeless population.

Now in sixth grade at Dublin's Willard Grizzell Middle School, Anna still is making good on her promise to help others over winter break.

This is the fourth year the 11-year-old Dublin resident has, with the help of friends and family, made meals and donated goods to individuals without a home.

This year, Anna and others gave 90 blankets and 350 meals to those in need in downtown Columbus. They also gave 100 hygiene bags donated by the Ohio Premier Soccer Club.

The meals are nonperishable food items that people can use for lunch, Anna said, and include a bottle of water, chips or crackers, a granola bar and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

A final item also is included in the lunches, something Anna said she was inspired to include as a third-grader when she started the project.

"I made sure they got cookies, because I'd want cookies," she said.

That first year, Anna and her mother visited Faith Mission of Ohio in Columbus to find people who were going there to get meals. They ended up distributing six blankets, 20 lunches and three backpacks filled with hygiene bags.

Although Anna said she found the process sad, she felt good giving people the items.

Anna's parents, Tanya and Kip Rosier, gave their daughter rules for giving out her items to those who might want them. She was to look people in their eyes, and ask, rather than assume, to see if they wanted her food and supplies.

That first year, Anna managed her project by herself. In subsequent years, she received donations and assistance assembling the lunches and supplies from family and friends.

This year, Tanya Rosier said, the family had nearly 40 people in their house preparing and assembling lunches and gift-wrapping blankets.

Anna said she felt overwhelmed and grateful for all the help.

This year, Anna and others visited two teen shelters, a men's shelter and a family shelter in downtown Columbus.

For the most part, Anna and others deliver the food and supplies person-to-person, face-to-face.

Although parents walk alongside the middle-schoolers, they try to make sure the children are the ones handing out the items, Tanya Rosier said.

"It just opens their eyes."

Although anyone can write a donation check, giving items to an individual is a whole different experience, Kip Rosier said.

Tanya Rosier said she is proud that her daughter is growing her project, to show others her age how to help people.

"I think she's a little wise beyond her years," Tanya Rosier said.

Megan Shalek, who teaches third grade at Deer Run Elementary School and who originally instructed Anna and her other classmates to do good deeds during their winter break, said teaching kindness to third-graders is important.

"It is an age where they can understand that they are always given a choice," Shalek said, "and I hope they always choose kindness."

Shalek said she always has her students list things they can do before winter break and hears a variety of great responses, from helping an older neighbor to shoveling someone's driveway and donating old toys.

She said she saw a spark in Anna's eye when the class began discussing good deeds they could do.

"She had a list a mile long of all of the things she wanted to do to help others," Shalek said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah