By Riley Burns and Ali Durkin
The holidays are looking bright for many local families as Jamesville- DeWitt High School students and faculty donated 2,109 food items to the food pantry drive. “Our goal is to collect enough food to provide enough meals for 170 families around the Jamesville area,” says SPARK adviser Elizabeth Quackenbush.“We either reached our goal or surpassed it in every area of the food drive,” says Mrs. Quackenbush.
To reach their goal, SPARK asked the entire school to contribute. The teaching staff generously donated 1,305 food pantry items, while the students donated 759 items. With 1,335 of the donated items, the 170 families will have a holiday meal. The extra 774 items were donated to the DeWitt food pantry.
The friendly competition between halls and teachers definitely made an impact on the amount of food raised to feed families.They created teams to compete for who could bring the most food items all together. The four teams were red, green, blue, and white, which were based on the J-DHS halls. The green team finished in first with the victory. “The goal for the faculty was 1,000 items,” says Hayley Nies, computer teaching assistant, who was also a part of the winning team.
Just like the teaching staff at J-DHS, a friendly competition was being held between the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes as well. By the end of Friday Dec. 12, the sophomore class came in first place, followed by the freshmen. Third place went to the juniors and the seniors were in last. No prizes were given to the winners of the competition. “The prize students get from pitching in to help the cause is getting the feeling of warmth in their hearts,” said Guidance Counselor, Will Hartley.
Mrs. Quackenbush got the idea of doing this food drive and connecting it to SPARK because they want to be more then just a singing group; they also wanted to be a character education group. After singing songs of positivity for all grades during an assembly, SPARK announced their goal of feeding 170 families in Jamesville and asked students to bring two specific items to help support the cause. What items students should’ve brought depended on grade level and the first letter of their last name.
How was the goal achieved? Not only were the students involved, the staff also decided to join in on the fun. “All efforts were greatly appreciated and although I feel we could’ve done better, it’s good to know that we have abled starving families to have a nice meal to celebrate the holiday season,” says junior Class Officer, Chloe Hayward. Hayward was apart of the process in getting the Food Pantry to happen and gave a speech at the SPARK assembly.
Many J-DHS students who donated feel that the Food Drive had a positive effect. “I felt that this project done as a school was a great excuse to bring together the community of J-DHS by doing something nice for others this holiday season,” says junior Jamie St.Amour. Other students such as a SPARK member and senior Kayley Hamernik agree with St.Amour. “I think that we are doing something truly amazing by giving back to the community,” says Hamernik.