This week the Student Council at Sandy Hill Elementary, aided by their fellow students, brightened the holiday season and break for many Jenison families! For the past few weeks students have been bringing in donations that were packed up this week and will be distributed by student council representatives throughout the community.
Student Council leader, Deb Streelman- Dismukes, explains, “This is a project that is promoted by our Student Council. Members are the represented voice for each class [2 student per classroom]. They take a leadership position in this project and their job is to encourage classmates to donate certain food and household cleaning items toward the baskets. They make announcements in front of the class after Student Council meetings in order to encourage their own class. The week before we deliver the baskets, students sort donations into groups.”
The contents of the baskets vary but usually include items such as canned vegetables, potatoes, butter or margarine, a fresh ham, milk, boxed desert, and other assorted boxed or canned foods. In the past they have also included cleaning supplies.
Sandy Hill has been playing this important role in the community for the past fifteen years when the number of local families receiving Title One benefits and free and reduced lunches increased. “Our students are proud to be helping. They do a great job sharing the information with their classes and they learn a valuable lesson in giving that will be with and influence them as they grow older.”
To protect recipients confidentiality student council reps are the only people in contact. “We drop them off to houses. Families are always thankful and excited to get a meal for the holidays, plus goodies for over the break!”
Principal Jonathan Mroz is proud of the work that Sandy Hill students do to benefit their community and agrees that the project is about more than the immedate act of giving. “Our Holiday Baskets have been a great way for our Sandy Hill community to support one another. This is the season of giving, and this project has provided us the opportunity to give back directly to our students and families in a way for them to not worry about something that many of us take for granted. This project allows us to meet the needs others, but also have our students see that importance of helping others.”
“We think it important to contribute to our immediate community & have changed both this project and hat/mitten/sock tree to help our school. It is great to see the impact our help has on the kids and their families!” – Deb Streelman – Dismukes