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    Tuesday, February 14, 2006

    Good kids


    11th Annual National Awards Program:

    David, a junior at The McCallie School, started "The Wagon of Hope Food Drive" three years ago, and has collected more than 15,000 food and toiletry items for the needy in Nelson County. "I live in a rural community, and while attending a local public school, I noticed that many children relied on free and reduced-price lunch vouchers for their daily school meals," said David. Upon checking with local food banks, he learned that supplies often ran low throughout the year, so David stepped in.
    First, he began a monthly food drive at his church, using an old preschool wagon to collect donations. Letters and phone calls soon persuaded three other area churches to join the effort, and as time went by, David arranged for collections at local businesses, his school and the local hospital, as well. With his mother's help, David collects, sorts, boxes and delivers the donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Mission and other food assistance programs. David also has recruited and trained several other volunteers to work on his food drive while he's away at boarding school, although he continues to coordinate the project, communicate regularly with participating churches, and handle all of the paperwork. "It doesn't take a large number of people or endless resources to start something great," said David. "It only takes dedication, time and commitment."
    Christina, an eighth-grader at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School, has helped raise thousands of dollars and awareness to benefit genocide victims in Darfur, Sudan, as well as hurricane victims and other causes, as co-head of her school's Committee on Conscience. Originally urged by her science teacher to join the committee two years ago, Christina is now strongly committed to her volunteer work. "I love what I'm doing," she said. "I feel now that I am more compassionate and more involved in the quest for peace," she said.

    Christina and fellow committee members have raised money for Darfur and hurricane victims, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a women and children's shelter, and other groups through school events and fund-raising activities at community gatherings. To make more people aware of the killing and suffering in Darfur, Christina helped create a Web site with information about the situation and how people can help. She also has given speeches in all of her school's classes to educate students about the committee's projects. In addition, Christina volunteers to serve senior citizens and residents of a local rehabilitation center.

    Sarah Woerner, 17, of Beavercreek, a senior at Chaminade-Julienne Catholic High School in Dayton, spearheaded a student-volunteer effort that collects gently used suitcases and other bags for homeless and disadvantaged people in her community. After receiving the approval of school and shelter officials, Sarah organized and publicized the project in schools throughout the community, recruited volunteer help, and collected and distributed the bags to people in need.

    Robert, an eighth-grader at St. Mary-Basha Catholic School, has been collecting toys for underprivileged children in Mexico since he was just eight years old. "The person that really motivated me was my mom," said Robert. "My mom was born in Mexico, and she used to have to help the family by working all day and never had a toy to play with."

    Robert collects toys through donation boxes at local restaurants and organizations, and by hosting garage sales and using the proceeds for purchases. Every six to eight months, he boxes up his collections and travels to northern Mexico with his mother to give them to children in Chihuahua. "I can see the happiness grow inside each parent when their child has a brand-new and clean toy to play with," he said. When Robert enters high school next year, he hopes to start a service club "so others may experience the joy of knowing that one toy can make all the difference in a child's life," said Robert.

    1 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    MAY MANY OTHERS FOLLOW YOUR EXAMPLE OF LOVE OF NEIGHBOR, ROBERT.
    "YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD... SO LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE BEFORE MEN..."

    March 16, 2006  

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