In sharp contrast to the grab-all-you-can retail mania that followed Thanksgiving, McKinney ISD students across the district—from elementary to high school—have been finding ways togive, looking beyond themselves to focus on the needs of others. So, if you found the recent video images of Black Friday shoppers pummeling one another over Blue-Ray players less than encouraging, here are some brief dispatches from a few of our campuses to restore your holiday cheer.
students are donating paper plates and napkins to support the McKinney Boyd Student Council Christmas Basket Project. The 5th grade Burks Ambassadors are also gathering gifts for a Christmas Angel they have adopted and are collecting new stuffed animals to donate to Children’s Hospital.
Caldwell Elementary has been collecting Hot Wheels and Barbie dolls for the Jesse Mooney Toy Collection to benefit children who are hospitalized during the holidays. Caldwell’s goal is to donate 500 toys.
The Evans Middle School student body collected over 5,000 cans of food and peanut butter for two local food pantries in McKinney, and when Morgan King, an 8th grader at Evans, heard about the plight of typhoon survivors in the Philippines, she enlisted the aid of her younger siblings to help create bracelets and cookies to sell for relief donations.
The Faubion Middle School Student Council recently organized a “pajama-day” fundraiser that brought in $103 dollars that they will use to sponsor two Christmas Angels, and they sold Skittles and peanuts at football games to raise money for Relay for Life.
A group of about 50 kids at Glen Oaks Elementary has been meeting after school each week this year looking for ways to give back to the community. While many of their efforts have been individual, in October, they joined forces to deliver new Halloween costumes to hospitalized children and then, with the help of the entire campus, collected 30 pounds of candy to send to US troops and another 30 pounds of candy for a local nursing home. In addition, one Glen Oaks third grade class has adopted a family whose home was destroyed in a recent apartment fire.
In November, Reuben Johnson Elementary collected 100 coats to benefit families of sister school Lawson Early Childhood School, and 5th grader Lexi White collected 35 coats for a Girl Scout service project. Then, in a combined effort, RJE and Lawson contributed 1,175 cans of fruit to the McKinney Food Bank for McKinney Make a Difference Day. And, the PTA and Student Council are well on their way to reaching their current goal of collecting 250 toys for kids in need.
The Scott Johnson Middle School FOR Club and PALS class organized a two-week canned food drive in late October that brought in more than 2,100 items to benefit the Community Food Pantry of McKinney. According to a letter from the Food Pantry, community giving during October made it possible to prepare 13,690 meals for 474 families—which included 718 children.
Destine Grobe’s 4th grade class at McGowen Elementary spent seven days in November leading a school and community collection effort that brought in 3,278 items that will help ease the burden of homeless families served by the Samaritan Inn in McKinney.
McKinney High School students, families and staff donated $500 and 300 cans of fruit to the Community Food Pantry of McKinney in November.
Next week, the annual McKinney North High School Christmas dinner packing event will take place in the North cafeteria. Student Councils from North, McKinney Boyd High School and McKinney High School have been collecting food at local grocery stores lately with the goal of feeding 750 McKinney families this Christmas. On December 18, hundreds of students will pack those turkey dinners to send out to local churches and organizations who will then deliver them to the families. Don’t blink or you might miss it. Last year, students packed 700 dinners in about 20 minutes.
McNeil Elementary recently held a successful towel and canned food drive to benefit the Samaritan Inn.
In October, Press Elementary 4th graders raised $2,500 for schools in India through the Room to Read program. Then in November, they raised $1,680 for Hoops for Heart and held a coin drive that raised $900 for Operation Warm, the No Excuses University Network’s Charity of the Year. Most recently, the Press 4th graders partnered with students from McKinney Christian Academy to fill 220 Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes full of letters, pictures, toys and necessities that will go to needy children in other countries.
Serenity High held a Thanksgiving food drive to benefit the families of the Holy Family School of McKinney, and they are currently collecting toys for the Toys for Tots program.
Walker Elementary is holding a “giving party” this month to benefit Vega Elementary families, Collin County Animal Shelter and Airborne Angel Cadets of Texas, an organization that puts together care packages for US soldiers.
Wilmeth Elementary sold “Pink Pumpkins” in October and raised $700 to support cancer research, and with the help of the entire Wilmeth community, the Student Council collected and packed 60 Thanksgiving dinner boxes for their sister school Webb Elementary.
And at Wolford Elementary, students collected 70 pounds of candy for troops overseas in just two days, and the KC Club (Kindness and Compassion) is holding a peanut butter collection that will run through January to benefit local food pantries. The goal: 5,000 jars!
For McKinney ISD, these are not isolated incidents of kindness simply reserved for the holidays. While this time of year certainly affords more opportunities to serve, the fact is that McKinney kids can be found throughout the year making a difference among their friends, at their schools and in the greater community.