APPLEGATE: Niles Community Schools appreciates local charities

Published 8:25 am Monday, November 25, 2019

With the holidays on the horizon, I am humbled and grateful to many community organizations who have reached out to partner with Niles Community Schools. Our students and families benefit from strong local partners who care about their well-being and the health of our community.

We are very fortunate to have local businesses and service organizations who contact us this time of year — and all year long — to see if our schools have families in need. This year, organizations such as Shelton’s Farm Market, Elks Lodge and Lions Club have all reached out to sponsor some of our families with holiday baskets.

To ensure that children throughout our school district have a happy holiday season, we have also been working with Toys for Tots, Shop with a Cop and other adopt-a-family drives.

For essential clothing items this winter, several community partners – Salvation Army, Niles Service League, Kiwanis, Niles Fire Department, Four Flags Garden Club and local churches – have stepped up to lend a helping hand.

On Monday, Michigan State Sen. Kim LaSata stopped by Northside Child Development Center and dropped off a donation of coats as part of her coat drive. These gestures go a long way, and we are so impressed by these generous community partners.

We had our opportunity to help as well. When the Wortham family needed a venue for their inaugural free Thanksgiving luncheon, which is open to senior citizens, the financially struggling and those without a family to eat with, we were excited to offer to host the event at Niles High School. The Wortham family will servemore than 200 meals on Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is first come, first serve.

Our students are also giving back, and are going above and beyond with their fundraising and community service efforts. Our annual Pink Week was held in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and included bake sales, special wristbands and a school-wide walk. The week concluded with our Pink Out football game. It was great to see all the support for breast cancer awareness, with our football team in special pink jerseys, cheerleaders with pink bows and pompoms, and the crowd wearing pink. When everything was said and done, we raised nearly $4,000 for local charities. Events like Pink Week show how willing and excited our students are to support important causes.

We want to thank the community for their continued support and show appreciation for our students that are making a difference.

Thank you, and Go Vikes!