This is the time of year for Salvation Army bell ringers, fundraisers and food drives; but there was one special effort this holiday season, organized by kids who are already determined to make a difference.
The kids at Patrick Henry Elementary School have a new favorite number, 1,243. That's how many cans of food they collected for the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
It's a project the kids have been working on for weeks.
“It all started when she came over and was talking to us about one-in-six Americans were hungry,” said student Noah Hopkins.
The "she" Noah referred to is Maggie Hoey of the Community Food Bank, who went to Patrick Henry to talk to students about a holiday food drive.
When the kids learned how great the need was in their own community, they were determined to help.
“The officers who interviewed Miss Maggie were stunned to find out that people in our school would possibly be the beneficiary of their hard work,” said librarian Joy Carr.
So they spread the word from class to class, and the food started pouring in. In fact, the food bank had to make several extra deliveries of boxes to hold all the bounty.
“All of this food that you guys collected is going back to the food bank and it's going to end up in somebody's house who might not have dinner tonight,” Hoey told the students.
“It just touches my heart,” Carr said. “They donated over 1,200 items on their own. It's amazing. We're really proud of them.”
When it came time to load up all the boxes, the kids were happy to help. In fact, they plan to make this a yearly tradition at Patrick Henry.
They said it was more than just a food drive, it was lesson in community.
“I learned that it's very important to help people in need,” Noah said.