The holiday season encourages us to think of others before ourselves. Thornton Academy students have taken this to heart and organized multiple events to collect goods for those less fortunate. Student Council organized a class competition food drive to benefit the Saco Food Pantry. Chinese Club sold bubble tea, dumplings, and other Chinese delicacies to raise over $700 for the Good Shepherd Food Bank. Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) participated in a “Battle of the Bridge” clothing drive competition with JMG students from Biddeford High School with donations going to the Salvation Army.
Student Council collected non-perishable food items throughout the month of November. They began with a community-wide door-to-door food drive on November 5. The past week has seen the classes compete in a competition food drive. The goal was to “stuff a bus” and fill it completely with donations for the Saco Food Pantry.
Stuff it! Student council packed the bus full of food donations for the Saco Food Pantry.
Senior Noelle Michaud participated in the drive and says, “With the distractions of college, sports, and our lives, it's really easy for us students to forget about how fortunate we are to have the things we do. The annual food drive is about encouraging our peers to help others, bring the community together, and overall, create a better society to live in."
Senior Noelle Michaud serves as student body secretary and views the food drive as helping to bring the community together.
Chinese Club sold bubble tea and Chinese food items during lunch waves to raise money for the Good Shepherd Food Bank. Students in the club used family recipes to make the dumplings that they sold, giving this fundraiser a personal touch.
Chinese Club member and fundraiser organizer Yuanlong ‘Austin’ Zhang ’19 says that volunteer work that he did this summer inspired him to create this fundraiser. “I want to help people that don’t have food for Thanksgiving,” Zhang says.
The Chinese Club dumplings were so popular that they sold out quickly! Junior Junmo Ahn gets some ready for a customer.
This is the second year that JMG at Thornton Academy and Biddeford have conducted the “Battle of the Bridge” clothing drive. JMG offers a curriculum that prepares students to for successful transitions from high school to post-secondary education through service projects, training, and job shadows.
Scott Stinchcomb, the JMG Specialist at TA worked with his counterpart at Biddeford to organize the drive and says that “community service is a crucial part of our JMG curriculum, so naturally we both thought it was a great idea.”
In addition to collecting clothing at both schools, students also worked with Patriot Subaru, Saco City Hall, and US Cellular to set up remote donation sites. All clothing collected will benefit the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center.
JMG students learned skills like collaboration, marketing, and organization through their clothing drive.