More than 200 Denison High School students helped raise funds to ship 10,000 meals to Haiti recently.
The students in the DHS advancement via individual determination, or AVID, program raised the funds as part of a community outreach program.
The fundraiser called “Feed the Need,” was led by Aaron Bach, one of the AVID teachers.
The program helps prepare students for college while giving them opportunities to be involved in community service. On Sept. 18 around 90 students in the program showed up for what school officials described as a packing party to prepare the meals to be shipped to Haiti. A few of the meals were also held back to be donated to area shelters in Grayson County.
“I pushed them to motivate them to raise money,” Bach said. “The program is called Feed the Need. It was to raise money to package meals to be sent over to Haiti and also to stay here locally for the homeless shelters here so they can feed people. Those packaged meals could feed a family of six people enough with food for a couple of days. One of our goals is to have community outreach to help people. We figured we could help our community and someone in a third world country.”
Bach said he wanted the students to see how much of an impact they can have on the world around them.
The students raised just shy of their goal of $30,000. The money was used to purchase 10,000 meals. There were 225 students involved in the program with 90 of whom participated in the packaging party.
Community service is a big part of the program. Bach said he wants the students to get out and give back to the community every day. He said it helps them understand how they can do their part to help people around them.
Mason Wiley, a senior and top fundraiser for the drive, raised nearly $2,500 on his own.
“It felt good basically knowing we could help other people,” Wiley said. “We are so fortunate to have what we have in our every day life. Knowing that other people in foreign countries don’t get that basic need every day.”
He said as a football player he treated it like a competition. He wanted to ensure he was the top seller because it felt like a sport to him.
The senior class raised over $9,000 as a whole.
Wiley said the program is important for students because it helps build character to become. He described it as a cool experience to be a part of and something he had never done before.
What are some other areas you’d like to see students get involved in the community? Let Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.