With Thanksgiving approaching, many of us take a quiet moment to count our blessings and consider the glass “half full” around tables stacked high with turkey and mashed potatoes.
But we all know that far too many families approach the holiday season with a twinge of worry — or worse. That’s why, for the last ten years, the Allendale Elementary PTO has sponsored and coordinated a season of giving with the students at Springview and Evergreen Elementaries.
From October 28 – November 8, students were asked to donate pudding cups, which provide a full serving of dairy and 100% juice boxes, which provide a full serving of fruit. These were given to Manna Meals, a ministry of Allendale parent Diane Westrick. Manna Meals, which is based out of Lighthouse Church, provides healthy meals to a group of over 160 Allendale students on a regular basis.
The remainder of the non-perishable food collected, along with personal care and paper products, was offered to Love, Inc., where it will stock the shelves of their food pantry. Love, Inc is well known locally for their outreach in various communities. Of themselves they say:
“We are the link between churches, service agencies and local individuals or families to assist with meeting financial, physical, emotional or spiritual needs. We continue to work with local churches, schools and local service organizations to address needs, fill gaps and help people who are struggling financially, emotionally or spiritually.”
On the day of collection, Springview and Evergreen “3 R Superstar” students (nominated by teachers based on leadership qualities, respectfulness and citizenship) had the opportunity to sort the food and help load the truck. It was in that moment that the impact of their school-wide effort was most felt. Amidst the buzz of busy hands, they remarked:
“It’s important to help people not starve,” and “It’s nice to help people who don’t have as much food. If they don’t get that food, they could die of starvation, so we try to give as much food as we can.”
Kudos to Springview and Evergreen students for giving more families a reason to be thankful this holiday season!