Throughout the semester, Sebring students have headed up food drives to provide local families both Thanksgiving and Christmas support.
B.L. Miller Christmas Food Drive
At B.L. Miller, students brought in food items throughout December that will supply 27 district families with food for the Christmas holidays.
Mrs. Leann Laure’s third grade class manages the food drive, collecting and counting the items, and tallying each grade’s points (specific items, such as peanut butter and jelly, earned classes bonus points on certain days).
Throughout the drive, the students brought in hundreds of items, with third grade earning a pizza party sponsored by PIE.
“This is the 27th year for our Christmas Food Drive,” explains Laure, who began the drive in honor of her father. “My main object for the drive, as it has always been, is to make sure our students have full bellies at Christmas!”
The food collected by students is just part of the generous outpouring of support from the community that will benefit district families this holiday season. “It is amazing how it has grown over the years to what it is today,” says Laure.
Additional items - including toilet paper, toiletries, milk, potatoes, eggs, turkeys - to accompany the nonperishable items were donated by staff, families, and local organizations including the Scarpetti Foundation, Trinity Lutheran Church, and PIE.
Community Contributions for Christmas
The generous support of the community ensures that not only do the students have full bellies, but provides even more holiday cheer in an outpouring of gifts. “This is a true community and school effort each year!” says Laure.
The Sebring Villas raises funds during the Annual Sebring Garage Sales, which are then used to support the food drive and sponsor gifts for children. This year the group sponsored three families for Thanksgiving meals, a family for food for Christmas, along with 20 children with gifts.
The Brickhouse Bar & Grill has provided more than 20 bicycles to be given to Sebring children this year, in addition to other gifts.
Families and other community members have also purchased stuffed animals, toys, bikes, and other gifts for the distribution.
McKinley Thanksgiving Food Drive
In November, Sebring junior and senior high students provided food and hygiene supplies for twenty-four district families during their annual food drive.
The students were given points for each item, with special items earning bonus points on specific days, encouraging donations of a large variety of nonperishable items and toiletries - including potatoes, stuffing, gravy, pasta, pasta sauce, applesauce, tuna, cereal, macaroni and cheese, dessert, fruit, vegetables, soup, soap, dish soap, toothpaste, toilet paper and more. The students collected more than 200 boxes of macaroni and cheese alone!
Mrs. Rummel’s class earned 2,420 points, winning the treat of a Chick-fil-a tray with their contribution of more than 400 items.
Student Senate advisors Lynn Chiu and Lori DeHoff praised the students for the huge success of this year’s drive, which was able to increase the amount it supplied to district families this year. The drive typically provides a box of food and a box of hygiene items to twenty families. This year, the students contributed enough that twenty-four families each received three boxes of food and two bags of hygiene products - helping stock family pantries beyond the holiday meal.
Each family also received a turkey or a ham, provided by the Ecology Club’s Trick-or-Treat for Turkeys campaign, which raised more than $600 to fund the main dish for the McKinley Thanksgiving food giveaways.