Senior Board hosts Thanksgiving drive for homeless

Story by Liza Pringle, Staff Writer

The holidays are a time for families to gather and spend quality time together, but there are many people who don’t have families of their own, or who lack the money and supplies they need to enjoy the holidays.

Due to the number of people in the Charlotte area in need, East Meck Senior Board hosted a Thanksgiving Charity Drive, where they donated crucial items to the homeless. Senior Board member Kate Wilken shared her experience being a part of this event.

“We were trying to think of ways that we could reach out to our community and use our time in the best way possible,” Wilken said. “COVID-19 has affected a lot of people in Charlotte so we felt that getting resources for them was the best thing we could do.”

Senior Board’s advisor, Janae Aiken, encouraged the members to get more involved with their community and how others are being impacted by COVID-19.

“I voiced that we needed to do a community service project every month, and with COVID-19 affecting everyone, we wanted to contribute to an organization or individuals that would benefit the most,” Aiken said. 

Many necessities were collected and distributed in bags for the homeless.

“We asked for snacks, water bottles, toiletries, masks, hand sanitizer, things like that,” Wilken said. “We accepted almost anything that people brought, like coats or even sheets. If we couldn’t include them in the bags that we put together, we made sure that they got to someone who needed them.”

Due to the fact that East Meck is still in remote learning, Senior Board had to come up with digital ways to advertise their event. This allowed students and staff to be informed about the charity drive, and allowed lots of people to come and donate.

“We advertised our charity drive via Instagram and I sent out emails to our staff,” Aiken said. “We took contributions for four days; we had so many teachers and people bring items for us to use for this. We ended up creating 250 bags.”

After collecting all of the items they needed and creating the bags, they then distributed them to different places.

“We split up into groups. Half of us went directly to tent city and the other half delivered to Urban Ministry Center,” Aiken said. “I actually went down to tent city the week prior to get a pulse check on the items they needed and talked to a lot of the people that lived there,”

Senior Board hopes to organize more activities like this one, in order to provide support to those struggling during this pandemic.

 “It felt really good to contribute,” Wilken said. “I really look forward to doing it again!”