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 RPS 205 Salvation Army Food Drive Inspires Friendly Competition, Life Lessons

12/20/2018 8:00 AM

​As winter break approaches, the annual RPS 205 food drive for the Salvation Army is coming to a close. Many school hallways are filled with barrels overflowing with non-perishable food and the spirit of giving. The great thing about the food drive is the direct participation of the students and the inspiration behind the campaign.

It starts with high school students on the Superintendent's Student Advisory Council choosing a campaign. They brainstorm a theme, determine a marketing plan and develop ways to communicate the food drive at their own high schools to encourage involvement. This year's theme was, "Take a shot at ending hunger … you CAN't miss!" 

The food drive is also a tradition at our elementary and middle schools. An annual traveling Golden Award is given to the school that fills the most barrels. Impressively, Lincoln Middle School is a three-time consecutive winner and holds the current title. Lincoln collected an astonishing 29 barrels! Their student council prides itself on maintaining this title and helping those in need.

Elementary school staff and students get creative. For example the student council at Froberg Elementary School decorates all the barrels and holds a class competition for the most barrels filled. There is a winner from kindergarten to second grades and third to fifth grades. 

At Whitehead Elementary School the student council selects three staff members for students to donate specifically to the staff barrels. Whoever gets the most items in their barrel gets a pie in the face. Principal Pam Miner stepped it up a notch this year and challenged her students to double her amount with the opportunity to pie the other staff members along with her. 

At Johnson Elementary School, Principal Amber Miller challenged students to fill her entire office with items. If they succeeded, she would get duct taped to the gymnasium wall by the five students who collected the most items. 

Even employees in the Administration Building get in on the action and hold an annual floor competition of the most collected items and a barrel decorating contest based on the campaign theme.

Last year, RPS 205 accounted for 56 percent of the total barrels collected in 2017. An average unsorted barrel weighs approximately 350 pounds, while a sorted barrel of all canned goods weighs upwards of 800 pounds! The holiday food drive is one of two major food drives sponsored by the Salvation Army. They collect significantly more food at this time of year, which makes RPS 205 all the more important to the Salvation Army. 

​The campaign is not just about how much food our district can collect or the friendly competition but an opportunity to learn about poverty and hunger in our community. It is a lesson and reminder about the meaning of giving and empathy. The items that are donated by the students often make it to the families of their very own classmates. Ultimately our students are not just giving cans, they are giving compassion. Learning about giving at a young age promotes future servant leadership. What a better world we live in when we can help those in need with our actions and kindness. This reminds me of the quote by Max Lucado, "Not everyone can do everything, but everyone can do something." Thank you for your generosity, RPS 205 students. #rps205proud

Principal Amber Miller duct taped to the gym wall by the students who collected the most items (left). The SSAC decorating barrels (right).
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