by Jan Shoop
I think StarShine has one of the longest running weekly food drives in the United States. Dan Ciskal, a wonderful kindergarten teacher, who has since retired, started the food drive. Dan was a Veteran and he wanted to teach the students how to give and how to give back to Veterans. Dan found an organization that supported homeless Veterans and made them the recipient of the StarShine food drive.
Each week the school held a food drive and every class would compete to see who brought in the most food. The cans and boxes for the food drive were weighed each Friday to see which class won. Then Dan would take all of the donations to the homeless Veteran’s shelter. The winning class would receive a special prize and certificate.
The amazing part of the food drive was that many of the children at StarShine did not get enough to eat, however, they were very willing to share what they did have. Most of the families received food stamps and all of the students received free breakfast, lunch and snack from the school. Watching the kids and their families support and embrace the food drive and the kindness of giving food to those less fortunate was amazing. We never had one family complain about the food drive or ask for some of the food for their families.
I don’t remember how many pounds of food we collected each year, but it was a lot. The donation made a big difference to the Veterans. It also made a big difference to the students at StarShine; they learned the importance of caring for and supporting others.
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