WESTGLADES-The start of the fall season brings with it a spirit of happiness, family, and, more importantly, giving. At Westglades Middle School (WMS) the Harvest Drive is a perfect way to give back to the community. From Oct. 22 through Nov. 9, WMS opened up its doors to take all donations, big or small, to feed families across the Parkland area.
Ms. Liz McGuire — Harvest Drive coordinator at WMS — organized WMS students and families in order to gather food and nonperishable items for 200 families within approximately a ten mile radius of WMS.
Around 45 volunteers from community programs in Parkland, adults, and Stoneman Douglas students helped out in the harvest drive.
Students from WMS brought family-sized juice, canned fruit, pancake mix, pancake syrup, macaroni and cheese, cereal, oatmeal, rice, pasta, cookies, peanut butter, jelly , soups, canned veggies, gravy, stuffing, napkins, aluminum foil, canned tuna or meats, and spaghetti sauce for the drive. WMS has also accepted the challenge of collecting 100 or more toiletries — laundry detergent, shampoo, dish soap, large toothpaste, soap/body wash, and deodorant — to help families around Parkland with personal items that they may not be able to afford. Large donations were dropped off to the volunteers in the car line during the morning collection drop-off week, but most donations were given to first period teachers.
The school’s goals for the harvest drive are “to feed 200 local families with a week worth of groceries and a $35 gift card to Publix in order to purchase for turkey and other perishable items, and to bring awareness to our community that there are children in Broward County schools that go to bed hungry each night,” said McGuire.
WMS cheerfully met and exceeded their goal for last year’s Harvest Drive, by being able to feed even more families with over 13,000 items received.
Most students at WMS are fortunate enough to be born into families who are able to provide healthy food, comfortable and secure shelter, an array of clothes, and also luxury items, but many people in this world are not so lucky and struggle to meet the basic daily needs — food, water, and shelter. However, WMS students are helping to feed every family they possibly can and the winning prize here is the joy of helping those in need.
Thanksgiving is the time to give and appreciate what families have, and WMS is not leaving any family behind.