PHS Students Bring Holiday Joy to Community
The halls of Pendleton High School have been busy with not only academics but efforts to give back to the community with a little holiday joy. The PHS Leadership Class is winding up two projects.
The annual Canned Food Drive is actually a district-wide project where all PSD schools collect canned/non-perishable goods. These are dropped off at PHS for tallying and then picked up by three local groups who split the goods – CAPECO, Salvation Army, and St. Mary’s Outreach. Both organizations will distribute the food locally.
On December 8, the food “corral” down the hall from the main office was bursting at the seams as leadership students organized the food items. The goal of the drive is 8,000 cans. PHS classes had already contributed 3,241 items, which is one of the highest numbers from PHS alone according to Stu Clem, Leadership Advisor. Here are the totals collected:
PHS – 3241
McKay – 1844
Sherwood – 2595
Washington – 1265
SMS – 500
PELC – 1033
Total – 10, 478
One of the committee members, Sophomore Anika Urbina, said helping community families has been a positive experience for her. “It really shows our school spirit, and it’s not an expensive way to make a difference,” she said.
Owen Golter, sophomore, said several teachers really get into the competition and that equals more donations. “It’s cool how people are willing to share, which helps everyone enjoy the holidays a little more,” Golter said.
The other project that has kept PHS Leadership busy in December is the Adopt a Family project. PHS student groups sign up to help a certain number of children by purchasing gifts. Various organizations like PHS Leadership, girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, National Honor Society, FFA, and more have participated. PHS Leadership gets the gift tags from the Salvation Army of specific children with clothing sizes and gift wishes.
PHS Leadership has participated in this for many years — this year, they are providing gifts to 34 children.
The four Leadership committee students who have worked on the Adopt A Family project have really enjoyed it. They said they know there are families in Pendleton who can’t support all their needs and it’s exciting to contribute to the effort.
Junior Hadley Brown said it’s great for PHS teams and clubs, too. “I think it helps the culture within your team or club to work together on this,” she said.
Junior Rylee Demianew said the work is worth it. “It’s really great to think of kids waking up on Christmas morning and experiencing joy.”