St. Mary’s, T.C. Martin gather up Thanksgiving baskets
Annual event raises food, funds for families in need
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.
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.
St. Mary’s Bryantown eighth grader Ajay Hill sorts through donated boxed foods Friday.