TSC students and staff are giving back to the community through various service projects during the holiday season. Some schools held food drives, collected items for animal shelters and created cards for residents at the Indiana Veterans Home, while others held fundraising events to benefit families in need. Here is a look at some of the activities involving our schools.
Several schools held food drives with East Tipp Middle School leading the way with more than 16,400 meals for Food Finders Food Bank. Mayflower Mill Elementary School high ability classes brought in more than 1,000 items for River City Food Bank and Food Finders. McCutcheon High School, Wyandotte Elementary and Wea Ridge Elementary added to the total as well.
Battle Ground Middle School collected more than 600 food items and nearly $1,000 to go to the Battle Ground United Methodist Church Food Pantry. Student Phoebe Yeoman says it was a student council team effort. “This is super important because it helps students realize they should be grateful for what they have and lets them feel rewarded knowing they participated in something to help others,” says Phoebe.
Dayton Elementary brought in more than 4,500 pounds of food. Principal Ryan Simmons says the food drive is a great way to bring all students together for a great cause: “We created dominos in our hallway using boxed items, we asked for peanut butter and jelly to see how many sandwiches we could make, and had a friendly competition of girls (green beans) versus boys (corn) to see who could bring in the most items.”
Klondike Middle School did a coin drive to raise money for Food Finders Food Bank. The students raised more than $500 and the winning classes (sixth and seventh grades) got to choose a teacher to receive a cream pie in the face.
Wainwright Middle School held its annual teachers versus students basketball game. Instead of charging admission, attendees donated cash or toys to benefit families in need that attend Dayton and Cole Elementary Schools. “The basketball teams, cheer teams, pep band, Students In Action Club all worked together to make it a successful event,” says Principal Mike Lowrey. “It was such a fun night for a great cause, as well as an opportunity to create lifelong memories for our students.”
Burnett Creek Elementary School held a “Day of Giving” where fifth grade students created blankets, hats and scarves to be donated to Cover Lafayette Project, Lafayette Urban Ministry and YWCA. They also made cat and dog toys to be delivered to local animal shelters and cards for residents at the Indiana Veterans Home and the Friendship House. “Students work through the day to create these items by hand in lieu of a holiday party,” says teacher Tiffani Pettit. “The lifelines of compassion and generosity are enforced during this time.”
Several schools have Christmas assistance programs, where staff members raise money and purchase gifts for families in need. Mintonye staff members did an Angel Tree where staff members adopted four families to shower with gifts.
Woodland Elementary School Assistant Principal Brock Richardson says staff members enjoyed shopping to provide gifts for 87 children: “We hope our participating families know that we are a community that can support one another during difficult times, and that Woodland cares about our students and families' well being more than just their time spent in the school and class.”
At McCutcheon High School the student council organizes a similar effort that not only includes wrapped gifts for children, but a stocking of goodies and a full holiday dinner. Student Ty Trapp hopes their efforts make for a memorable holiday: “We get them toys, clothes, snacks, blankets, skin care, and anything else they may want or need. This is an incredible opportunity and always makes us feel good to be able to help others within our school community, especially this time of the year!”
Wainwright and Wea Ridge Middle School also deliver food baskets and gifts for families in need. The high ability classes at Mayflower Mill also created dozens of letters of gratitude to send to members of the military and first responders.
Students in high ability classes at Hershey Elementary School rang the bell for the Salvation Army December 10. ”It was a cold, blustery two hours, but we had fun,” says teacher Sarah Williams. “We discussed why we were ringing the bell and who it might help, and welcomed and thanked many for their donations. It was a heart-warming morning.” Also at Hershey, the student council sold candy canes to raise $825 for Riley Children’s Hospital.
Students at Harrison High School did a clothing drive bringing in more than 4,000 items for the Raider Closet. Junior Cadence Hunter says the campaign brought the student body closer together. The Raider Closet is open to all students and families in need of clothing and toiletries items. Amanda Lucas and other parents organized a donation drive to benefit 27 students at Battle Ground Elementary School, while the Masonic Lodge, Battle Ground United Methodist Church and UPS helped others.
Animals benefited from the efforts of students at Burnett Creek. They collected cat food, dog food, litter, cleaning supplies and other items for animals at the Loving Heart Animal Shelter. “As we approached the holiday season, our class discussed random acts of kindness,” says second grade teacher Ashley Randall. “We hope to give students a meaningful experience in the spirit of giving.”
Students at Battle Ground Elementary collected shoes, clothing and other items for the Isaiah 117 House, while students at the Intermediate School donated toiletries and other items for a local homeless shelter. Second grade students at Cole Elementary School packed 120 sack lunches for Lafayette Urban Ministry to distribute to guests at their winter warming station and emergency day shelter. Teacher Jen Tilley hopes students will see that a small act of kindness is important and no matter their age, they can make a difference: “Even though they are little, they can help in big ways.”