Sandy Ridge students collect more than 1,000 canned goods
Over two weeks, students from Sandy Ridge Elementary went through neighborhoods, asking residents for any canned goods they could spare. By the end, they had collected 1,814 items, to give to Operation Reachout.
“Our goal has been to get students personally involved,” Sandy Ridge Parent Teacher Association member Andrea Sanneman said. “We want them to think about doing things outside of the classroom, ways they can help their community.”
Sanneman, head of the association’s character education committee, said students brought in canned goods in their backpacks and also recruited their parents to help pack all the donated items, to send to Operation Reachout. Students and their parents packed cans of vegetables, boxes of pasta and pounds of sugar for the project. The Monroe-based Operation Reachout helps provide food, medicine, furniture and other needs for struggling families.
“We’re trying to have the kids focus on one word, one goal each month,” Sanneman said. “For November, it was gratitude, working on ways to be thankful. For December, the word is generosity. Teachers during the day incorporate the word into their lessons, then we hope the kids will go out and manifest it in their behavior.”
Now that the canned food drive is done, Sanneman and the rest of the PTA hope to keep students motivated, with a new toy drive. From Nov. 28 to Dec. 6, students can bring in a new toy, to be given to another child in need.
“This way, it’s not just parents doing things for them,” Sanneman said. “They see where the food, where the toys, go. They’re involved in more than just the classroom.”
Anyone wanting to contribute to the Sandy Ridge toy drive can drop a gift off at the school’s main office, 10101 Waxhaw Manor Drive.