Students learn the gift of giving this holiday season

Howard County Times

Local students are learning important lessons about helping the less fortunate people who live in our community.

At Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School, students and their families donated food, personal items and money for Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. The generous donations helped stock the homeless center pantry. There was also enough money donated to provide seven hours of services for the center -meaning that the school was able to Buy a Day of Service at Grassroots.

For December, the Triadelphia Ridge community adopted local families in need and collected Christmas gifts for them through its Holiday Angel Tree program, along with the Folly Quarter Middle School Leo Club.

The Girls on the Run teams at Triadelphia are supporting Grace’s Closet as part of its Community Impact Project. Grace’s Closet is a Howard County charity that collects clothing and school supplies for Howard county children in need. The girls collected and donated hats, gloves, scarves, boots and jackets.

At Bushy Park Elementary School the Leo Club also collected hats, gloves, scarves, boots and mittens to be given to Howard County families.

Dayton Oaks Elementary School students collected gift cards to donate to local families for their December project.

In addition, every month during the school year, the students at Dayton Oaks participate in the Food on the 15th Program.

Students and their families donate food, then students help sort and bag the food. Finally, the students deliver the bags of groceries directly to the senior citizens who need it.

Whole families work together to make sure that seniors in the county have healthy, nutritious food around the middle of the month, which is when some seniors begin to run out of money and have to choose between buying medicine or food. Both the students and the seniors look forward to the day when the groceries are delivered. It's especially nice for the students, because they get to meet the people they are helping.

At Folly Quarter Middle School, the Leo Club collected candy after Halloween to donate to Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. Some candy was also sent to members of the military serving overseas.

For Thanksgiving, the Leo Club collected food, personal care items and household cleaning supplies, along with grocery store gift cards to help provide Thanksgiving dinners for several local families. In December, the club, with help from Triadelphia Ridge students, collected items for its Giving Tree. After collecting and purchasing the gifts, the students wrapped them in preparation for a special Christmas for some local families.

The Folly Quarter Parent Teacher Association collected stuffed animals to donate to the Annapolis Backpacks of Love program. The stuffed animals are added to the backpacks, along with other items, to help children get through their first few days after being placed in foster care. The PTA also supported the Howard County Winter Coat Drive by collecting and distributing winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves.

The Glenwood Middle School Leo Club once again collected books to be donated to schools in Baltimore city and Howard County. Enough books are collected every year to allow each child in the elementary school to take one home on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The young Leos also collect old eye glasses which are distributed through the Glenwood Lions Club to people who can’t afford new glasses.

Our young neighbors are learning about the rewards of volunteering, and experiencing the sense of accomplishment that comes from helping someone else.

As we reach the end of 2018, I would like to thank all the people who have contacted me with news for this column. Please continue to send me information about special events, celebrations and any other news that I can share with our neighbors. Have a wonderful new year.

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