Niles Students hold food drives for Salvation Army to help area families

Published 1:28 pm Saturday, November 24, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – It was a very successful day Tuesday for the Salvation Army of Niles as students from Niles Community Schools and area churches donated several boxes of food items to area families.
Capt Bill Walters of the Salvation Army made his first stop at Cedar Lane Alternative School, where 1,642 food items were collected. Teacher Chad Gardner said that the total far exceeds last year's total, which was around 600 food items.
"The kids brought in items from home, they collected from neighborhoods in the area. They just did a fantastic job with the food drive this year and we are really proud of them," Gardner said.
Walters said this is the time the community really steps in to help those in need.
"We collect food items for the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets. Residents call or come to us, let us know they need assistance and it's people like this who make it all possible," he said.
Ring Lardner Middle School Student Council's food drive was a huge success, according to secretary Mary Bouwkamp.
Students collected food items in their D.E.A.R. classes for a competition to see which class could bring in the most food items.
Winning classes for the eighth grade were: Mrs. O'Hara's, Mrs. Anderson's and Mrs. Ray's classes. For the seventh grade,: Mrs. McLean's class was the winner.
In all, the school collected nearly 1,500 food items for the Niles Salvation Army.
"It's great that the students of this community can come together for something like this. A lot of times, the kids who are donating are actually on the receiving end as well. It doesn't take much for people to need assistance, especially with the loss of a job or anything else that makes it hard around the holidays," Walters added.
Anyone wishing to donate food items, or those needing assistance, should contact the Salvation Army at 683-1563 or stop by the office at 424 N. 15th Street.