Perry Township Schools believes that its responsibility is not only to empower student success but also to encourage civic leadership. This time of year, especially, brings out the kindhearted nature of our school community, which helps people within our township and elsewhere.
The district is excited that all of its schools will participate in Goodwill’s Youth Township drive next month. Students, parents and friends of our schools are encouraged to donate at least two 13-gallon bags or copier boxes filled with clothes, books, toys, electronics and other goods to Goodwill stores.
For every 13 gallons donated, the school district will receive a $5 voucher that can be given to families in need. This annual drive is a win-win for our families and Goodwill, whose collection and sales of donations employs 2,000 people who have limited job options.
From our small corner of the world, 145 students and staff at Southport Middle packed 32,000 meals made of rice, soy, spices and vitamins. The project supports Pack Away Hunger, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and others who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. The school also raised $8,350 through jeans days, which allowed students and staff to wear denim for a small donation.
At James Whitcomb Riley School, students and staff collected food to benefit Hunger Inc. Students who donated the most items were able to tour the facility and learn how 10,000 pounds of food is distributed to approximately 350 families in Perry Township and Beech Grove every month.
Southport Elementary student Shyla Warman took it upon herself to bring happiness to children this holiday season. After losing her father on Christmas Eve 2016, her holidays were overtaken by sadness.
This year she decided to spread joy throughout the community by collecting toys for children at Especially Kids, a physical rehabilitation center in Shelbyville, where her friend is a patient. Kids Go Round Toys in Plainfield heard about her story and offered to give Shyla 20 percent off her toy purchase. The store also donated $200 to her mother, who works two jobs to provide for her children.
Homecroft Elementary’s Project Perfect Gentleman and GIRLS Club helped the less fortunate by going on a shopping spree at Walmart. Nearly 50 students – accompanied by 17 staff members – purchased $850 in gifts for 15 children whose families are in need.
Similarly, students at Perry Meridian Middle raised money through a friendly competition to provide Christmas gifts for four families.
It is never too early to learn about giving. Preschoolers in Alisha Savage’s class at Jeremiah Gray collected 13 pairs of pajamas and made Christmas cards for hospitalized children.
These examples represent a small fraction of the ways in which our community is giving back. No gesture is ever too small. It’s important to remember the saying, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”