St. Mary’s, T.C. Martin gather up Thanks­giv­ing bas­kets

An­nual event raises food, funds for fam­i­lies in need

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

A collaboration be­tween a public and a pri­vate school is help­ing to feed 74 fam­i­lies in need this hol­i­day sea­son.

For over 10 years, St. Mary’s Bryan­town Catholic School and T.C. Martin El­e­men­tary School have been hold­ing food drives to put to­gether Thanks­giv­ing bas­kets for fam­i­lies in need.

The event is or­ga­nized by the So­cial Con­cerns Com­mit­tee of St. Mary’s Bryan­town Catholic Church, which over­sees the collaboration. Food is col­lected from parish­ioners at the church as well as by both schools and by Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and other or­ga­ni­za­tions, said Sandy Capps of the So­cial Con­cerns Com­mit- tee.

“We could not do this with­out all of the help from every­body. We’re very for­tu­nate,” Capps said.

Each fam­ily is also given a gift card to use to­ward the pur­chase of a turkey or ham at a lo­cal gro­cery store, as well as fill in wher­ever they need to, Capps said.

“These bas­kets, they’re not just for Thanks­giv­ing, they should help them out with food for about a month, be­cause they go home with sev­eral boxes; they don’t go home with just one box. The ef­fort from the com­mu­nity is amaz­ing,” Capps said.

The bas­kets were picked up by fam­i­lies in need Satur­day af­ter­noon.

On Fri­day, stu­dents from St. Mary’s Bryan­town stu­dent gov­ern­ment and T.C. Martin’s stu­dent coun­cil and “Just Say No” club met at St. Mary’s to sort the food dona­tions.

St. Mary’s Bryan­town

Prin­ci­pal Sharon Caniglia said the event is a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the school’s stu­dents.

“It teaches them to give back to the com­mu­nity. They’re al­ways very ex­cited to help out, and help make the bas­kets and sort the food,” Caniglia said. “It’s a tra­di­tion that’s been go­ing on for- ever, it seems like, and I re­ally think the com­mu­nity de­pends on it.”

T.C. Martin li­brar­ian Melody Philpotts, the spon­sor for the school’s “Just Say No” Club, said that through the event, stu­dents learn more about help­ing oth­ers.

“We try to teach the chil­dren about com­pas­sion, and car­ing for oth­ers, and they learn that there are peo­ple in our own com­mu­nity who are in need,” Philpotts said.

St. Mary’s Bryan­town eighth grader Ajay Hill, pres­i­dent of the school’s Stu­dent Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, said the event fits in well with the teach­ings at the school.

“It helps ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity who needs help, and also, it’s the way God would want us to work, as our school teaches us to do, and we need to show our love and com­pas­sion to ev­ery­one just as Je­sus did,” Hill said.

T.C. Martin fourth grader Emily Her­scher, stu­dent coun­cil vice pres­i­dent, said it was im­por­tant to help those less for­tu­nate.

“You want to help the peo­ple who don’t have as much as we have, so you just want to give back to them, be­cause we have the food and they don’t have as much,” Her­scher said.

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

T.C. Martin fourth grader Chase Du­gan sorts through do­nated cans of food Fri­day.

T.C. Martin fourth grader Emily Her­scher and li­brar­ian Melody Philpotts sort do­nated food Fri­day.

STAFF PHO­TOS BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

St. Mary’s Bryan­town eighth grader Ajay Hill sorts through do­nated boxed foods Fri­day.

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