By: Alivia Melius
Giving is an essential part of the holidays. At Tussey Mountain High School, students participated in a food drive to spread cheer during the holiday season. Tussey’s Student Council held their annual food drive event the week of Dec.16 to 20. Students in grades 5 to 12 were encouraged to participate in the food drive. Proceeds went to Hopewell Food Pantry in Saxton, Pennsylvania.
This is the fifth year Tussey Mountain’s Student Council hosted the food drive. Each year, students in the club pick a theme for the drive and offer a movie incentive to help drive interest in donating. Once the theme is chosen, flyers are placed around the school to advertise for the event. This year, the movie shown was the 2018 animated film The Grinch. Students were asked to donate a minimum of five items to qualify for viewing the movie on Dec. 20.
As goods began to come in, Student Council members helped sort and package the products into boxes for later shipment. Juniors Abigail Neff and Katelynn Hoover, both third year Student Council members, and several other students took time out of their day to assist in this process by working through study halls and enrichment periods. Until sendout, the dry goods were held in advisor Christopher Carrier’s classroom, where students met to lend a hand in the packing operation.
“We were put into leadership positions by sorting [goods], getting them from students, putting them together and telling them when the cans were due,” Neff said.
“It really made me feel good about myself to help people in need during the holidays,” Hoover said.
Other parts of the community also pitched in for the event. Junior Elizabeth Folk, a cashier at the Saxton Market, donated extra boxes from her workplace. “I was thinking of other ways to contribute to the drive,” Folk said, “so I gathered up some cardboard boxes from my work to take to school.”
Tussey Mountain plans to continue hosting their holiday food drive in years to come. “It’s important to be a part of the community,” Carrier said. “All of the coordination between students of how to collect the food and sorting the food [brings students together].”
Students at Tussey were also moved by the experience. “It made me realize how during the holidays a lot of people are less fortunate than others,” Neff said. “It made me feel important, and I was helping a bigger cause.”
Tussey Mountain High School students collected and donated over 1000 dry goods to the pantry.