Michelle An, Copy Editor

By: Michelle An, Copy Editor

Currently, over 46 million Americans live their lives in poverty. These numbers are especially high in Florida, with over 17% of families impoverished.  As a means to combat the widespread poverty, during the Thanksgiving season, many charities at both a community level and at a school level hold annual charity events in which students can get involved by helping out families-in-need in various ways, including donating food and distributing it.

Seminole High School National Honor Society and Beta Club members annually aid the families of Hamilton Elementary that are facing financial challenges during the holiday season by collecting Publix and Walmart gift cards that can be used to purchase meals; the clubs along with the Social Services Department of the school distribute the gift cards after being collected. Previously, the clubs had raised over a thousand dollars to three families.

National Honor Society sponsor Dr. Peggy Johnson comments, “The joy and many letters of thank you from these families warms the heart and lets us know what we are doing is the right thing.”

In addition, the Air Force Junior ROTC participates in an annual Thanksgiving holiday drive for families in need. Members have collected turkeys, stuffing mix, and canned fruits and vegetables to give to families referred by churches and school officials in Seminole County.

Within the community, organizations that sponsor food drives are stationed around the Sanford area where families can donate either canned food products to low income households, or students may choose to volunteer in sorting, boxing, and repackaging donated food. Such organizations include Feeding America and Harvest Time International.

Fundraising Chair for Tuskawilla Shepherds Frida Afternoon Food Bank and treasurer of Key Club junior Julie Sparks comments, “Thanksgiving is a time of year that is crucial for bringing families together and is difficult without the ability to purchase food. In Key Club we will be fundraising and packing food for families that cannot afford it. Friday Afternoon Food Bank packages special meals for Thanksgiving and our club will be helping raise money for this special meal.”

5K runs have become a popular form of raising awareness for different causes. Specific to Thanksgiving, the 5th Annual Turkey Day 5K will be held on Thursday November 27, Thanksgiving Day.  This national, family-friendly event will donate proceeds to the Christian Sharing Center Food Panty in Sanford, FL.

National Honor Society president senior Raymund Vista says, “There are many people in the community who are having a hard time getting by. By helping those people, we can help those members have a great Thanksgiving holiday, which is very rewarding to one’s character.”

While it’s not necessary to sign-up and help during the Thanksgiving season, each person should remember that even the smallest acts of kindness can work miracles in others’ lives.