Haller students pitch in for families in need
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:44 PM
ARLINGTON More than 50 members of the Haller Middle School girls volleyball teams came together Dec. 20 to make the holidays a bit brighter for two Arlington families in need.
Haller Lady Hawks volleyball coach Kim Anderson told the girls that shed wanted to conduct a food and gifts drive and drop-off for the local needy for the past five years.
Youre the first group to step up and make it happen, Anderson said in the Haller cafeteria, as the girls divided up into separate tables for card-making and present-wrapping.
Anderson explained that shed received the names of the two Arlington families from Volunteers of America, one of whom has a single father with a 15-year-old son and two daughters, aged 13 and 8, and the other of whom has a mother, a father and three sons, aged 16, 15 and 12.
Anderson had mentioned the idea in passing a month before, but shed only suggested it seriously a week before, which meant that the girls managed to collect clothing, makeup, books, toys, and other recreational items for each member of the two families in less than six days.
The girls also raised $164, which was split into two $82 gift cards for groceries, as well as two turkeys and enough potatoes, stuffing, bread, vegetables and dessert items for both families.
Its great to be able to make people happy for Christmas, said eighth-grader Shayna Shackelford, as she wrapped a video game. It can get rough during to holidays, so its nice to put a smile on somebodys face.
As Haller ASB President Jensen Evans and fellow eighth-grader Lauren Dusord tied the bow on a box of soccer equipment, they reflected on the benefit to the community as a whole.
If were having a good Christmas, then so should everyone else, Dusord said. Its not about how you spend your money, but how you feel afterwards.
I wasnt sure what to expect, Evans said of the charity drive. I wanted to try it, though.
Since eighth-grader Christina Price wont be at Haller next year, she offered some advice to the students whom she hopes will continue this charity drive next year.
Put your minds to it and work together, Price said.
Haller ASB Advisor Holly ChristmasHarris noted that the Lady Hawks managed to generate their donations almost immediately after the schools second annual canned food drive, which raised $1,940.53 and three truckloads of food, approximately 3,900 pounds, plus close to $225 worth of toiletries.
In the class competition, Chere Vidmores class of 13 students ranked in the top three, with Fran Schmitzs class, who sat in front of the Arlington Safeway for four hours to generate more than 1,500 pounds of food that day, and Adele Barborinas class, who declined their prize, since they wanted the money to go to the food bank. Eric Grants class saw one student turn in his grandfathers coin collection.
At first, all I cared about was winning the competition, said Zach Smoots, Haller ASB vice president. Now I see how necessary it is and Im glad I turned in what I did.
The leadership class is in charge of this endeavor and all of the kids work really hard, ChristmasHarris said. The leadership students prepared presentations to all of the students in their fourth period class and then picked up the food daily. Every day the students of leadership weighed, counted and calculated everything turned in. It took a class of 20 kids 47 minutes to pack up all of the food.
Anderson was equally enthusiastic about the work of her girls.
Its important to me to give back to the community for all the support that they give to us, Anderson said. The coaches hardly had to do anything. This was just an outpouring from the kids, their parents and the community.