Grammar school students lend a hand to help the needy

November 22, 1993|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Staff Writer

Thinking of needy families in their community who might go without the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, Linthicum Elementary School students have collected more than 28 bags and two boxes of canned and boxed foods.

The soups, cereals, macaroni and cheese, cake mix and other items will be donated to help fill Linthicum Baptist Church's food pantry. People who call upon the church as the holiday approaches will be able to receive food baskets.

The Rev. Donald L. Emge, the church's pastor, said a small turkey also would be placed in each basket.

The church, which draws 160 members Sundays, is not a food distribution center. It helps the needy on an as-needed basis. Anything more would overtax the church's limited resources, Mr. Emge said.

Parent volunteers from the elementary school today will drop off the goods students have spent the month collecting.

The church expects to make baskets for at least four families in the area, Mr. Emge said. Church members will deliver the baskets to families Tuesday and Wednesday. "And we'll let them know the students helped us do it," Mr. Emge said.

Any excess food will be kept in the church's pantry or donated to area missions that might need help, he said.

This is the first time students have held a food drive, said Patricia McIntyre of the school's Human Relations Committee.

The committee, which has two student members, meets in September to decide which activities to hold throughout the school year. Collecting and donating food to the church were selected this year.

"[Church members] have called us before and volunteered to help out the [school] families we have in need at Christmastime," Ms. McIntyre said. "We pay [the church] back this way because I know if we need something, they will give it."

For the students, collecting the food is a way to remember those in need. "They need to know these people exist too, and this is how we help them know that," said Assistant Principal Harold Sachs.

Student representatives Stephen Clark and Kristen Muller, both 11, said their parents often teach them to be mindful of others less fortunate than they.

Once the students return to school after a weeklong Thanksgiving vacation, they will turn their focus to Christmas.

During December, mittens, scarves, gloves and hats will be collected for students at Freetown Elementary in Glen Burnie, and residents of Sarah's House, a Fort Meade shelter for women and children.

The school's baseball club will package and deliver sports cards donated by Line Drive, a Linthicum sports card store, to pediatric units at various local hospitals.

And moved by their food drive, students voluntarily have decided that, instead of exchanging gifts among themselves, each grade at the school will adopt a needy family for the holidays, Mr. Sachs said.

Both Stephen and Kristen said they hope these activities will impress on their peers that sharing and helping others is a good idea.

"It's fun," Kristen said.

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