IR student council collects food for homeless vets
Indian River High School is making sure that government helps U.S. veterans, even if it’s just the student government.
The IRHS student council recently hosted a canned food drive for Home of the Brave, a Milford nonprofit helping homeless veterans transition to permanent housing, transportation, employment and more.
“I thought it would be a connection … of the government giving back to veterans,” said Frank Shockley, student council advisor. “It’s a good organization. There’s not a lot of time in the school day to talk about giving back to the community,” he said, because of other educational requirements.
Since getting reinvigorated last year, this is the student council’s first major program “to become more active in the school,” said junior Clayton Hardy.
This is the student council’s first major event since being reinvigorated last year. The food drive was the students’ “easy and effective” idea, Shockley said. He just suggested Home of the Brave be the beneficiary. “I start the show and let them run it.”
The students decorated collection boxes for each homeroom, collected food daily and tallied each donation. It was even IR students who created a commercial to broadcast on the school network.
As extra incentive, the winning homeroom will get a free breakfast.
Some teachers really supported the food drive. One even gave homework passes for every 10 cans students donated. Then she kept a tally of their individual homerooms.
“It’s hard for them to afford to buy these things,” said sophomore Cameron Goff.
“We can give back to them because … they helped us,” said sophomore Sofia DiGiarolano.
Besides regular canned vegetables, rice and heaps of ramen noodles, the students also found some unexpected items had been donated. But someone is guaranteed to enjoy that green tea, clam juice or whole coffee beans.
“People think about toys, but so many people are hungry right now,” said Eddie Shockley, Frank’s father, who drove the food to its destination in Milford. “You don’t know how many people are on the streets. You’ve got to sit back with what you have and be thankful.”
The school donated 948 total items, averaging one per student. With 115 donations, Meghan Easter’s homeroom won the competition.
Shockley encourages people to donate to Home of the Brave year-round, through www.homeofthebravefdn.org or by contributing goods to the house.