Community gives back through holiday drives

Seyun Park

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The WJ Pantry Club held a food drive for the Manna Food Center on Nov. 14-18. Many clubs and groups were holding drives to give back to the community.

As the holiday season gets into full swing, multiple groups are doing good in the community through gift and food drives for nonprofits and charities.
The WJ Pantry Club held a Thanksgiving Food Drive from Nov. 14-18, where they collected food for the Manna Food Center. The club was able to donate one large box of assorted food items to the Manna Food Center, and hopes to get more donations in the future.

There are still a lot of families who don’t have access to food in our community … we are able to donate food items to those families

— junior club president Irem Gunduzhan

In addition to the work of the WJ Pantry Club, the Holiday Gift Giving program for staff raised money for teens and children in Child Protective Services (CPS). The program collection donations until December 5th.
The program collected gift cards and various presents for CPS children in Montgomery County who are placed in foster care because of abuse or neglect. Case workers in CPS shopped for presents with donated gift cards.
Specifically, CPS emphasized gifts for teens, including gift cards for shops where teens would shop.
“CPS especially appreciates gifts for teens as that group often does not get as much as the younger children from donors,” a community message said.
Teens are encouraged to give gifts that they think other teens would enjoy.
“This has worked well because our teen students here know what other teens would like to receive,” program coordinator Allison Hoefling said.
Finally, the girls basketball team is running a toy drive for the Gabriel Project which helps local children in need. The team is seeking donations of new toys and monetary donations during its home games on Dec 9, Dec 13 and Dec 16.