The giving season is upon us once again, and that means the annual Canned Food Drive has begun. This is the 40th Canned Food Drive at Mt. Hebron, thus making it an extra special milestone. The student body hopes to meet this year’s goal of raising 45,000 cans in order to help local families in need.
“I expect it’s going to be great this year,” Social Studies teacher and SGA sponsor Ms. Angela Sugg said. “I think that since it’s the 40th, a lot of people have been inspired to help.”
The Canned Food Drive started in 1974 and has made a huge impact on the Mt. Hebron community ever since. Even Principal Scott Ruehl remembers the Drive when he went to Mt. Hebron.
“The Canned Food Drive is so much bigger now than it was when I went to school here,” said Mr. Ruehl. “There are so many more families, and the entire school is even more involved now than back then.”
It is true that many students are involved in the Canned Food Drive. Students line up outside of Ms. Sugg’s room after school to help pick up cans from the classrooms and to count the money donated. There have been a lot of volunteers this year, so much so that the SGA has been running out of jobs for them to do.
Sophomore Kayla Snyder, SGA’s Assistant Secretary, is tasked with assigning jobs to students in Ms. Sugg’s room after school. “The line of volunteers this year goes all the way down the hallway. People sprint from their 6th period last class to get in line, which is remarkable,” said Snyder.
One of the most important aspects of the Canned Food Drive is receiving information about the families from Resurrection Church and calling them to make sure they would like to participate in the Drive. This year, there are 142 families from all over Howard County receiving help for the holidays. In charge of this task is SGA Vice President senior Alia Abdelkader.
“It’s a very gratifying experience to call the families because we get to be the ones to tell them they are receiving help for Christmas,” said Abdelkader. “I feel fortunate to be in a position where I can do this.”
On the last day of school before Winter Break — this year it is Dec. 23 — students gather together to start delivering the canned goods and other items to the families. It is an exciting day, especially for freshmen who have never participated before.
Freshman Ross Wenzel said, “I’m really excited to see how delivery day works. I can’t believe that just one school can do so much for these people. It amazes me.”
For seniors participating in their last delivery day, it is a humbling experience. “I love seeing the joy and gratitude in the faces of the families who have so little,” said SGA Secretary senior Kara Donovan.
Even though alumni have left the halls of Mt. Hebron, they remain a part of the school and community. And many of them prove that by coming back to help with delivery day and be a part of the experience once again.
Mt. Hebron 2014 gradute and former SGA member Nishellie Navaratne said, “I miss working together after school with the rest of the SGA members and spending time with them.”
The Canned Food Drive is a huge part of Mt. Hebron and Howard County at large. Everyone comes together to reach a common goal, which Mt. Hebron has been successful in achieving for the past 40 years. The Canned Food Drive is definitely a tradition that will continue for many years to come.