Thanksgiving basket donations benefit community

Members+of+Interact+meet+in+Mrs.+Pontiouss+room+the+week+before+Thanksgiving+to+assemble+baskets.

Chase Golem

Members of Interact meet in Mrs. Pontious’s room the week before Thanksgiving to assemble baskets.

Logan Roever

An extended weekend full of food and family. Whether you were excited for Thanksgiving break or excited for it to be over, it was a time meant for celebration and gratitude.

In the spirit of the holiday, the school nurses and student council organized a Thanksgiving basket donation for District 7 families in need.

According to junior Student Council member Cole Simpson, the individually-packaged baskets included Thanksgiving foods like canned fruits and vegetables, potatoes, gravy and around 20 other items. 

They also included toiletries like soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant. 

The annual donation starts with the school nurses identifying the number of families in need in District 7. They then relay this information to Student Council, who organizes the school-wide donation. 

According to Student Council adviser Jamie Kupferer, clubs all over the school are invited to raise either funds or items for the donations, and it becomes a contest to see who can raise the most. 

This leads to an abundance of items which are then donated to the Glen-Ed Pantry or made into more baskets. 

And although the baskets can’t contain meat because of sanitary and logistical reasons, Student Council uses their leftover funds from Homecoming to give the families gift cards to Schnucks so they can purchase a traditional turkey or ham for Thanksgiving. 

This year, the club that raised the most for the baskets was Interact Club. They made 32 baskets and had left over food to donate to the Glen-Ed Pantry.

“It seems like every year we have a club member that out-does everyone and brings in most of our items,” Grace Johnson, a senior member of Interact club, said. 

Even though Interact Club raised the most, clubs and activities all over the school worked together to make the baskets.

“I like [making the baskets] because it brings a lot of the school’s different clubs together to gather all this food that goes directly to the people who need it,” Simpson said. 

With the baskets going to District 7 families in need, this fundraiser is more personal to the participants than a nation-wide fundraiser. 

“We’re very lucky that we live in Edwardsville,” Mrs. Kupferer said. “For the most part, it’s a really strong community and I think that when we have families that are struggling for whatever reason- loss of job, family sicknesses, things of that sort where they are struggling around the holidays, we are able to pull together and provide for them.”

The baskets not only affect the families they go to, but also the students that work on making them. 

“[Making the baskets] made me even more thankful for what I have,” Johnson said.