Students Donate to Local Program


Brenda De Rosas

The Robotics Team loading the donated food to the Salvation Army’s truck. Student Council collected food from classrooms every other day. “I had a lot of fun and it was for a good cause,” said senior Andrew Huerta Ortiz, a member of the robotics team.

During the month of November science teacher, Ken Fiscus, organized a food drive to help those in need. Food was collected by the Student Council every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Collection ended in Wednesday Nov. 29 but students were still bringing in food until it was loaded by the Robotics Team. About 740 pounds of food was collected and 2,300 dollars was made all to support the Albert Lea Salvation Army. Since the money began to be accepted donations have increased. With the money raised the Salvation Army can purchase food at discounted rates and help with their meal program.

“Its nice being able to see something you try have a great effect,” Fiscus said. “This does a lot of good, last year they said our food drive fed people for a week, all their people for a week. That’s pretty good for one thing [food drive].”  

The food drive was a competition, second hour classes with the most pounds of food donated won donuts. Fiscus opened the opportunity for students to bring money. Since then there has been an increase in the monetary donations. About a thousand dollars was raised. This year the number of pounds was averaged out per students to avoid an advantage to larger size classes. The class with the most pounds of food per student would receive donuts. Mr. Jeffrey’s, Tiger Vision class was the winner.

“This is like a red kettle on steroids we don’t ring bells we just put people in competition with each other at the school, it’s amazing what people do for free donuts,” Fiscus said. “It’s awesome.”

Students also have an opportunity to help in a more international scale. This year the Key Club is collecting shoes to send to Africa. The collection will go through December for a shipment. If it goes well they will continue throughout the year. There is also other local volunteering options.

Nursing homes appreciate those who come and talk to their residents because they can get lonesome. St. Johns has a website for volunteer opportunities as does Good Samaritan. Although for Good Samaritan there is a volunteer process which includes a background check and fingerprinting for safety of their residents, unless it is for bigger groups. The Key Club helped decorate and make ornaments the first Saturday of December.

The Salvation Army serves about 70 people daily in the meal assistance program alone but they do much more than meal assistance. They assist low income families struggling to pay utility bills as well as taking in kids for an after school program. They offer them an activity, snack, and a bible lesson to teach them good behavioral skills. Their Red Kettle Campaign raises money during the months of Nov. and Dec. During this time especially they look for volunteers to ring bells and help with setup for their toy drive give away, and make Christmas food baskets. Salvation Army is volunteer run so they are in need of them year round.