Students give back to community

CRIDERSVILLE — Students at Cridersville Elementary School are coming together for a selfless cause.

The 20th annual “Canned and Boxed Food Drive” is currently underway at Cridersville Elementary School, and the guidance counselor says the number of items donated is tremendous.

“It seems like its more than last year,” Cridersville Elementary guidance counselor Jill Stubbs said.

Stubbs, who was pleased with the turnout, said all the students have been doing a great job raising food for the needy families in the area.

“It’s great to see the families in Cridersville willing to chip in and help those in need,” Stubbs said.

Cridersville Elementary School fourth-grader Dustin Cox said this is an important program for the school to participate in.

“It sets a good example, so they might try and donate outside of the food drive,” Dustin said.

He said he believes helping out does not have to end when the food drive does, because students can still donate clothes and food to local food pantries and thrift stores in the area to help others.

Third-grader Shi Bloomfield agreed and said it is important the students take part in the food drive.

“It’s so they don’t get hungry,” Shi said of the needy families in the area, “and they don’t starve.”

Donating around the holidays is important because many people do not have food, second-grader Sarah Hansen said.

“Many people don’t have food or shelter,” Sarah said.

Ivy Patton summed it up when she said all of the food will be going to a good cause.

“It will go to people who don’t have food,” Ivy said.

The top two classrooms who donate the most items to the food drive will have a pizza party held for them, which is sponsored by Cridersville United Methodist Church.

The canned food drive is set to end Friday, and all of the items collected will be delivered to the food pantry, Chi-Ki-Lo, at Cridersville United Methodist Church, and the Wapakoneta Fire Department’s Christmas Cheer Program

Don Lee, of the Christmas Cheer Program, has been worked with Stubbs on this project, and will help distribute food throughout the Wapakoneta area, including Buckland, Uniopolis and St. Johns.

The other half of the food will be delivered to the Chi-Ki-Lo Food Pantry, which will help those in need of food around the holidays.

Melanie and Jeff Reichelderfer, who are youth leaders at Cridersville United Methodist Church, said the food is needed, especially during the holiday season.

“The food pantry served 104 families around Thanksgiving, and will do the same for Christmas,” Jeff Reichelderfer said.

While he is not sure how many families will stop by the food pantry around Christmas, Reichelderfer noted the need is evident.

After the food pantry receives the food, families will be able to come in and choose what they need to make meals for the holidays.

Each year, some of the high students at the youth group at Cridersville United Methodist Church, visit the school for a pep rally.

“We’ve been doing the pep rally for two years,” Reichelderfer said. “It’s gets the kids excited about the program.”

This year was no exception, as the youth group students came to the school last week during an assembly to play the drums and to get the elementary students pumped up to donate to a helpful cause.

“We do a lot of mission projects at the church,” Reichelderfer said.

He noted these types of projects show the youth in his youth group the important of ministry.