Learning lessons in giving
Students from Starside among those filling local food pantry
A little help from Starside Elementary School students replenished the De Soto Multi-Service Center's food pantry for the holidays and gave students a chance to reflect on the importance of community service.
"It helps cities so their families won't be sad," Starside second-grader Sophie Slitor said.
Students from the school's service club turned their cafeteria into a sorting center on Thursday for more than 4,000 food items donated by Starside students.
"Starside has done a miraculous thing," De Soto Multi-Service Center director Jodi Hitchcock said. "It's going to be wonderful and overwhelming with all the donations."
In addition to Starside, Riverview Elementary School made donations over the weekend and Mize Elementary School will make donations next week.
Hitchcock said the elementary school donations made a difference in the center's dwindling food pantry.
"It's coming at a wonderful time, because we're getting low and this will make a huge difference in our holidays."
Hitchcock said the donations not only help De Soto families, but also teach the children a lesson about community support. Sometimes Starside Elementary School children are also the recipients of the food donations as well as the donors.
"The kids who have had to use the pantry are also some of the first kids to bring food back to donate," she said. "It's helping neighbors. It's not going to some big food bank. It's helping people right here."
Students throughout the school made donations and students in the community service club sorted the items.
Second-grader Max Barger said he enjoyed the project.
"It's fun just helping other people," he said. "We're sorting things and I like to sort."
Fourth-grader Nikki Pelkey said it was her first charity project.
"This is my first time, and I feel like I'm enjoying helping the poor," she said. "They need more food than us. We make money in our family right now since we have jobs, but some families might not have jobs and they need help."
Fourth-grader Kassidy Seaba said after seeing those in need, she was inspired to help.
"We lived in apartments and a lot of people lived there who didn't have Thanksgiving. I want to help people who don't get what they need."
It was important for her to help keep the pantries at the De Soto Multi-Service Center full, fourth-grader Ciaann Chance said.
"It's for Jodi, because she's really empty right now. I like to be a good citizen and be respectful to others," she said.
Fourth-grader Haley Woltkamp said she enjoyed helping others children.
"Maybe they can grow up and be a helpful person," she said.
Third-grader Megan Wilkerson said she enjoyed being a part of the service club, too.
"I get to meet new friends and new people," she said.