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Schools Collect Donations for WeCAN
Click on the above image for more pictures from the WeCAN Collection Drive at MWHS
December 20, 2018 — Students at every school in the Westonka School District embraced the holiday spirit throughout December by collecting a variety of items for families served by Western Communities Action Network (WeCAN). Additionally, staff members at the schools and the Educational Service Center also participated in WeCAN's Adopt-A-Family program.
"Thank you to all of the Westonka students, parents and staff who made donations to WeCAN this season," said WeCAN Executive Director Christie Larson. "We especially appreciate the amazing assortment of personal care, cleaning supplies, paper products and toys that will fill a need for many families."
Mound Westonka High School
While the holidays are an exciting time for many people, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to afford everyday items, let alone holiday gifts. With that in mind, Student Senate and DECA teamed up for a two-pronged approach to this year’s collection drive – and collected over 1,000 personal care items and nearly $700 in cash!
Student Senate focused their efforts on collecting items from students at MWHS. Students were encouraged to bring in household cleaning products, paper products, personal care products and baby products. Students competed by grade to win an ice cream treat party for their entire grade.
Students at MWHS collected 871 items- doubling the total number of products donated in 2017. Along with collecting product and with the help from DECA and the building administration, MWHS collected over $630 in cash from parents before and after school.
“This drive means so much to our community and to be able to donate so many products to our neighbors is just outstanding,” said advisor Jamie Harms. “We are so proud of the leadership from Student Senate, DECA and our administration but even more proud of the students and staff at MWHS for all their donations.”
Each grade pushed each other to get as many donations as possible to beat the other grades. Seniors won the competition in the last day by weighing in with the heaviest items, so they were treated to ice cream in homerooms on December 14. The totals by grade were: 8th - 164 items (113.8 lbs.); 9th - 188 items (379.8 lbs.); 10th - 250 items (174.8 lbs.); 11th - 137 items (85.6 lbs.) and 12th - 132 items (456.4 lbs.).
“It was such a great combination to get DECA involved this year and having their help meant even more donations,” said Senate President Alex Kline. “We are so thankful for their chapter project and all their help!”
“Thank You Westonka” is a DECA Chapter Project that works to show their gratitude for the support of the Westonka community and the success of the two new facilities, the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and Westonka Activities Center (WAC). The group writes weekly blogs about events in both the PAC and the WAC as well as hosts various events such as Movie Nights in the PAC and the New Year's Walk-a-Thon in the WAC coming up in January.
The group set up "Giving Trees" in the lobby of the PAC and a collection box in the WAC for the WeCAN Holiday Drive. This week, Thank You Westonka hosted the first Movie Night in the PAC showing the holiday classic, Home Alone. Attendees were encouraged to bring in donations for a free treat at intermission. In total, 165 items and $56 in cash were donated by the community.
The group thanked Westonka residents for showing their support in not only the arts and athletics with their votes to build these new spaces, but their continuous desire to care for the community in activities like the WeCAN Drive.
“I am completely humbled by our school and community so often - the generosity shown to each other is impressive!” said assistant principal Marty Fischer. “Our WeCAN Holiday Drive was just another example of this, and WOW--what an example it was! Students, parents, family members, and community member gave items and large amounts of cash to help make the holidays a little better for those who simply don't have what many of us take for granted.”
Click on the above image for more pictures from the Grandview, Hilltop, Shirley Hills and Early Childhood collections
Grandview Middle School
With lights flashing and sirens blaring, several Orono Police squad cars left Grandview Middle School Dec. 14 on an important mission. Along with several local police officers and three Grandview students, the vehicles were filled with more than 416 paper products, cleaning supplies and personal care items to be donated for distribution at WeCAN.
Jessica Rashleger’s social studies class collected the most items. The names of all students who brought in items were put into a drawing to earn a chance to ride along and deliver the gifts to WeCAN. Chosen to participate were seventh-grader Sam Monahan, sixth-grader Ellie Putnam and fifth-grader Georgia Harmer.
"Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the holiday drive," said advisor Katie Seehusen.
Hilltop Primary School
The Hilltop Primary School WeCAN drive was also a huge success. The Hilltop student council collected paper products, personal care products and cleaning supplies daily for two weeks. WeCAN representatives picked up the donations, totaling over 600 items and a generous cash contribution, on Dec. 11.
Student council advisor Melissa Abernethy said the students enjoyed collecting everyday items that are needed in the community.
Shirley Hills Primary School
Students at Shirley Hills Primary School collected an amazing 831 paper products, including toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, wrapping paper and cleaning wipes. By more than doubling their goal of 400 items, students will be able to participate in a school-wide Rock, Paper, Scissors Competition.
Even the district’s youngest learners took part in the holiday collection drive. Students at both the Westonka Early Childhood Center and Early Learning Center collected toys for youngsters to be used in WeCAN’s Adopt-a-Family program and Holiday Shop.