by Luis Contreras
Every year, students band together to raise money for the Thanksgiving Food Drive. With the funds raised, the school purchases food and supplies for poor inner city families to celebrate Thanksgiving.
This year, the collaborative effort pulled in a record-breaking five-thousand, seven-hundred thirty-five dollars and forty-seven cents.
There was enough raised to provide food for the entire break, which spanned over five days.
Many of the 25 families that the money was raised for had children that received their only meals of the day at their local schools.
Others survive only on fast foods that lack the proper nutrition. The school was able to hand those families healthy and fresh alternatives.
Every family helped belongs to St. Joseph’s parish near downtown Houston. Sister Lucia, a nun at the parish, was in charge of collecting food from the drive and delivering it to each family.
With her help, the school was able to interact with many of the families and help each as much as possible.
Students around campus pulled together to help make a difference. Students got used to seeing the face of senior student council treasurer Joe Hittinger pop in to their A period classrooms to collect the funds raised every morning.
Many people left their study halls to help pack the supplies and prepare them for transport.
Some even drove to the parish and to families’ houses to deliver the gifts.
One senior, Josh Podlin, felt grateful to be a part of it.
“It felt good to be able to help people that are less fortunate than me,” said Podlin. “It made me realize that a lot of people aren’t in as good a situation as I am.”
This year, as well as in the recent past, teachers and staff have jumped into the thick of things to help out as well.
Faculty with an A period class urged their morning students to bring in as many funds as possible. The winning class would receive a bountiful feast of kolaches and donuts.
The winning teacher, Grover Green, said it’s about more than getting smothered in breakfast food.
It was about service.
“They genuinely wanted to make a difference in the lives of less fortunate families,” Green said. “Each of the men really felt proud that they were able to make such a difference.”
Green, who was a student at St. Thomas in the early 2000s, led his class to raise over $850.
As a student, Green helped in every facet of the drive.
Now as a teacher, he motivated his freshmen to lend a hand. He pushed some to go so far as to deliver food and meet some of the families.
“The annual Thanksgiving was my favorite fundraiser when I was a student here,” said Green. “I used to deliver the food each year with my dad. I encouraged the guys also to help deliver and pack the food.”
Whether people were an integral part of this year’s impressive food drive or just witnessed it, it was impossible to ignore the good done by the school.
The school community received as much as it gave. Bringing food to struggling families put into perspective the blessings in everyone’s life.