When Families In Need Are Among You
John Sedgwick Middle School Students gather Food So Everyone Can Eat At Thanksgiving
By Mike De Felice
Special to the Independent
PORT ORCHARD — There are times when tears of happiness are shed by both givers and receivers of food items used to make up a festive Thanksgiving holiday meal.
That was evident during the annual holiday food drive at South Kitsap’s Sedgwick Middle School, in which families in need were provided with an array of food items to make a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal.
“Yes, we’ve had tears of joy. The people are amazed at how generous others can be,” said Jennifer Richardson, a secretary in the school’s counseling office who has participated in gathering items for the school’s food drive over the past five years.
Richardson said that those handing out the meals to families often get emotional during the yearly “Holiday Help” effort because they know the food is not only helping out a student in need but an entire family.
This year, 30 families of Sedgwick students received Thanksgiving meals. Over half of the school’s 700 students lent a hand with “Holiday Help,” the middle school’s biggest charity event of the year, the secretary noted.
“I wanted to participate because I think this has an impact on the community,” student body president Aisha Sorter said.
“I feel we should all have a chance under any circumstances, no matter if you cannot afford the food, to celebrate Thanksgiving with your family,” the eighth-grader said.
Sorter helped gather food and also encouraged younger students to donate.
Fellow eighth-grader and student treasurer Kai Zhong said she is particularly aware of the need to help others at Thanksgiving. The family of one of her parents had a tough time getting holiday meals while growing up.
“I wanted to be part of the food drive because it’s important for people who can’t afford food to get it so they can enjoy Thanksgiving. It just makes me feel good that we are putting food on someone’s table,” Zhong said. The student also donated 20 cans of food to the campaign.