Students give back to community

Students give back to community, schools during holiday season
Posted on 12/20/2019
Morganton, NC – Thursday, Dec.18, 2019

Burke County Public Schools students are setting aside their own wish lists to spread holiday cheer to others in the community by volunteering, committing random acts of kindness and organizing fundraisers for those in need.

⎯ Operation Joy

Emily Propst, a teacher at Draughn High School, started Operation Joy at the beginning of December as an optional activity within her classroom.

Propst said, “The objective was for the students who wanted to participate to select a student randomly – through a number system – to be kind to all week. I told them it doesn’t have to cost them anything. It could be as simple as a note to brighten their day, holding the door for someone, or carrying their things to the next class.”

The students went above and beyond Propst’s expectations by giving gifts to fellow students with special, anonymous notes attached to them. The students even requested to extend the project another week, but this time chose to spread the joy to teachers.

⎯ Blankets with a purpose

William Patrick Happoldt, a student at Mull Elementary School, hosted his annual blanket drive he started a four years ago for the homeless. He has collected more than 130 blankets that will be donated to The Meeting Place Mission, Options Inc, and The House of Refuge to help those in need this holiday season.

⎯ Elves stocking the shelves

Anchor Club members at East Burke High School held their drive to restock the EBHS pantry with canned good, dry goods, hygiene products, etc. The members, who call themselves elves, collect the donated items from classrooms and refill the pantry that students or community members in need can visit and receive items. The classroom that donates the most items will receive Krispy Kreme donuts.

⎯ Giving Christmas to those in need

The Christmas cheer keeps spreading to Patton High School where students Kristin Grider, Hayleigh Wright, Alyssa Northrup, Logan Childers and Breanna Jarrell created a GoFundMe account entitled “Giving Christmas to those in need” to raise money to purchase blankets, socks, food, water, toys for kids, gloves, hats, pillows, etc.

Grider said, “It’s been on my mind for a while. I enjoy helping people, but I never knew how to actually make a difference. I got this idea to at least try. Many kids and adults won’t be getting a joyful Christmas this year. Whether it’s poverty or the homeless. Christmas is supposed to be about giving and that’s what I hope to accomplish.”

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⎯ Using math to give back

At Table Rock Middle School, sixth grade students are putting their math skills to use while also helping out families in need. Don Koback, a sixth-grade math teacher at TRMS, had the idea to use a shopping trip to help his students learn about rates and unit rates. All three of his math classes scheduled a time to visit a local grocery store armed with a list and a budget. The groceries that are bought will go to three TRMS families in need.

Koback said in a letter to his students’ parents, “I truly believe that giving comes full-circle and if not now, but at some time in each of our lives we may be in a position of need. Since we studied Rates and Unit Rates earlier in the school year, students will be challenged to get the most for their money by price comparing and staying within a budget. This mathematical application will hopefully prepare your child for the future and encourage them to get the most out of their money.”

⎯ Volunteering time and service

Freedom High School students who are a part of the Anchor Club and Key Club volunteered at Blue Elves, an event put on by Morganton Department of Public Safety that provides Christmas toys to families. They also volunteered their time with the Outreach Center for the Polar Express fundraiser.

- Souperintendents Souperbowl Canned Food Drive

The giving does not stop at Christmas for BCPS. Our 7th annual “Souperintendent’s Souperbowl Canned Food Drive” will start the week of Jan. 6 as schools will collects non perishable foods for the community. In past years, we have collected more than 100,000 pounds of food. There will be collection bins set up at every school and the BCPS Central Office, Olive Hill Resource Center, and Auxiliary Services. Donations can be made until Feb. 7.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Larry Putnam said, “Seeing how our students give back to the community so selflessly speaks volumes to how awesome each school is and the leadership that comes from within. I am very proud of all the students and staff for giving their time and efforts toward each of these opportunities. When we all work together to make our community better, we all benefit.”
Patton GoFund Me
Patton GOFundMe - They organized a GoFundMe to raise money to collect several different items for families in need.

Operation Joy at Draughn High School
Mrs. Propst and her students that participated in Operation Joy at Draughn High School.

East Burke High Anchor Club
Members of the East Burke High School Anchor Club help to restock the shelves of their community pantry.

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