DOWNEY - Bringing in about 13,800 donated canned goods in 2009, Warren High School is looking to beat that amount by collecting 15,000 cans for a local food bank.The collection period began Dec. 7 and ends Friday. "If every student (brings) in four cans, we can help almost 700 families in Downey," said activities director Erin Hanohano-Lira. "Four cans is not a lot, but the fact it can help so many families motivates students." With 150 teachers and roughly 3,860 students, Warren can meet its 15,000 can goal if every student on campus brought in four cans. To promote this, ASB member are communicating with four to five teachers each. Every teacher participating has a sign with dates and a box for drop-offs. "So far the can food drive is looking fantastic," said Lorus Hendricks, commissioner of community relations for ASB. "Teachers are motivated and students are giving, so we're bound to reach our goal." The friendly competition is between all second period classes. There is one rule for teachers this year and it is that there are no rules. This means teachers can use any legal means to motivate students such as extra credit, personal stories or any other ways of encouragement. An additional incentive for students is that the top three classes will receive a pizza party. "Giving to the less fortunate gives me a great sense of both personal fulfillment and satisfaction," said senior Alex Gross. Although a competition, this canned food drive is about bringing the community together and helping those that are in need as well, organizers said. This especially helps local families as the food bank is receiving lighter amounts of cans than normal due to the economic downturn. "We are able to give back to those that have been able to help families previous years," said Beth Gendrea, director of PTA HELPS, which stands for Health Education Local Pantry Service. "We are glad to help the families we can." Both Warren and Downey High School help bring in the most cans for the Thanksgiving and Christmas distributions. Church groups, boy scouts and girl scouts, and even real estate agents also help bring in cans to the food bank. "I'm excited to see the activities room full of cans," said Hanohano-Lira. "It makes me really, really proud of the students at Warren High School." Deanna Kim is a senior at Warren High School and interns for The Downey Patriot.
********** Published: December 16, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 35