Big community service projects are generally a success year-round. Yet when it comes to the simpler Food-of-the-Month can drive, it seems that student body participation needs a boost.
It’s not that students don’t participate at all; it’s that more students should participate and more consistently.
Throughout the year it seems that there are only certain months (mostly November due to Thanksgiving) in which all grades donate a considerable amount of cans. For example, the class of 2012 collected a total of 200 cans in the month of October, 70 of which came from one advisory. However in the months of September and November, the class collected only 30 and 50 respectively.
It’s pretty obvious why we’re so inconsistent with bringing in cans. We’re just so busy with homework, especially in the upper school, that bringing in cans becomes last on the agenda. We’re already involved in other community services so we can let this one slide. We’re reminded every month, every year to bring in these cans; by now it’s just a reoccurring nag in the back of our minds.
While it’s true that our homework load is daunting, and many of us are involved in more demanding community service projects, this can never be compared with hunger.
That’s right, hunger. It’s the reason behind the Food-of-the-Month drives. It’s the reason why now more than 700 people line up for meals at the Food Pantry every day. While you may be tired of being reminded to give cans to the food drives, these 700 plus people are tired of being hungry. While most grades tend to donate more during the season of giving, they need to understand that the Food Pantry serves people year-round.
Bringing in a can each month won’t take away too much of your studying time. If you’re already participating in other projects, then the simple act of bringing in a can and putting it in the donations crate shouldn’t make, say, volunteering at a hospital any more difficult. If you’re tired of the reminders each month, just remember that your food donation could make the difference between someone going hungry or having a meal.
Participation should be consistently high for such an easy task. While ideally the act of giving should be its own reward, other drives, such as the annual toy drive, have proven that incentives (like a pajama day) help generate a larger group of givers. If this is truly the case, then incentives should be applied to the food drives as well.
As Marlborough girls, we should pledge to become more active in small community projects. Next year around Christmas time, why not consider donating to the Angel project for teacher gifts instead of the cliché Starbucks gift cards? Donating these small amounts of money to the project can give a girl the opportunity to learn at Marlborough she otherwise never would have had. And we promise you, teachers will appreciate this thoughtful, meaningful gift much more that a cup of coffee.