Students donate 75 full Thanksgiving meals to families in need
In just one week, Americans will feast on all of the Thanksgiving fixings. While many are creating shopping lists now, others are working to make sure their family doesn't go hungry. It's why the Salvation Army along with several organizations in our community work to make sure everyone in the Tennessee Valley has a meal.
Students at McCallie School heard several families were in need of a Thanksgiving meal, so they decided to do something to make a difference.
On a cold Thursday morning, 7th graders carried boxes one-by-one out of their classrooms and onto a Salvation Army truck.
"Potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables," just to name a few, William Reynolds explained.
Both The McCallie Middle School and Upper School collected turkeys/hens, potatoes, vegetables, dressing and cranberry sauce for our local families who might not otherwise have a complete Thanksgiving meal to cook at home.
"There's people out there who need a family; they need to have that tradition. There are a lot of people who haven't grown up with that," he said.
Reynolds is a 7th grader who loves Thanksgiving. It's why he and his classmates want to make sure others can share the same experience.
"So we just need to make them feel like they're loved," Eli Kyriakidis said.
The Salvation Army identified 75 families in need of a Thanksgiving basket, and students at McCallie decided to hold a food drive and buy a turkey for every single family on the list.
"The high school actually did donate the turkeys, while we donated all the condiments like relish, potatoes, green beans and stuff," Kyriakidis explained.
Volunteers will sort the donations and create food baskets with all "the fixins." Then, families who might not otherwise have a Thanksgiving meal will pick them up this week.
"I think that it's important to give back to the community. I've grown up here. I think there's so much awesome things and it's time for me to kind of give back," Reynolds said.
William and his classmates may only be in the 7th grade, but they know it doesn't matter how old you are, anyone can make a difference.
"Having the experience of working in the community and just experiencing it and getting to know people is really important for me," Reynolds said.
"I love that community service is a part of the McCallie educational experience and the students serve beyond their campus," Major Mark Smith, Area Commander of The Salvation Army, stated. "This teaches our younger generation so much more than what can be learned in the classrooms, and we are so grateful McCallie is joining us in 'doing the most good'."
The greater community is encouraged this holiday season to give their time just like these students. Volunteer opportunities can be found on www.csarmy.org. Folks can also call The Salvation Army at 423-756-1023.