A student enlists school to help needy at holiday Commitment: Lindsey Drager, 17, led a drive at Liberty High School that wound up with enough food to feed 13 families at Thanksgiving.

November 26, 1995|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Thirteen county families are thanking Liberty High School students for a fuller Thanksgiving table.

Lindsey M. Drager, 17, a senior at the Eldersburg school, led the food drive. She was repeating last year's successful campaign for which she won the Governor's Volunteer Award.

She finished the drive a week ago with enough grocery donations and money to help 18 adults and 28 children. In a rented truck, she and her father, Robert Drager, delivered 1,293 pounds of food last Sunday.

"When we pulled up in that big truck, people were really happy to see us," she said.

A local Ryder dealer gave the Dragers a half-price rate on the rental. Trucking the donations halved the seven-hour delivery time clocked last year and saved wear and tear on Lindsey's car.

Lindsey, president of Liberty's National Honor Society chapter, organized the two-week food drive through homeroom representatives. She made a few plugs during morning announcements and hoped for a good response.

"If someone in the homeroom really gets kids going, that class will donate," she said. "Get them interested, and that's all you need."

When donations only dribbled in, she had a little anxiety that the drive might fall short. But she rallied her schoolmates with an announcement that there was not enough food for all the needy families and made several phone calls to remind them of their pledges.

Food and $665 poured in. "We got everything we needed by Friday," she said. "Even the lunch ladies and the janitors helped."

Lindsey spent last weekend -- between stints at her part-time job -- shopping to fill in the gaps in donations and packing boxes for each family.

"Lindsey had enough money to buy extras, like the paper and personal products people can't use food stamps for," said Barbara Lynch, who helped her daughter with sorting and packing.

Lindsey plans to keep the spirit of giving alive. As soon as school reopens Wednesday, she is launching a Christmas drive for three local families.

Now that I have seen where they live and how much they need, I want to help," she said. "I know I can get the school interested."

A single-parent family of six children already has given Lindsey a Christmas wish list.

"I got carried away with toys last year, so I might focus more on clothes now," she said. "I will still get every child a special toy, too."

Lindsey plans college next year and eventually a teaching career.

She said she hopes another student will take her place as Liberty's donations coordinator.

"If anyone shows an interest, the school will help," she said.

She probably will organize a drive next year, in whatever college town she finds herself.

"I am sure there will be a need wherever I go," she said.

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