Stock the Stacks
By Julie Matuszewski; photo courtesy of Ilana Bove
The Help & Hope Center provides a warm, calm place for families in crisis to shop for food and necessities. With the help of community donations and volunteer support, the Help & Hope Center provides three meals a day plus a snack for each family member that visits. Through a school food drive, students of Timber Trail Elementary (TTE) collected 3,500 items to fill the shelves of the newly-remodeled food bank, Mela’s Pantry, which is just one section of the Help & Hope Center.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Giving back teaches compassion while staying connected to values that are linked to common good. With volunteer requirements for graduation, schools are creating ways to help others and give back to communities.
As a part of a library session, students discussed the impacts of COVID-19 on families in the community. With the help of TTE library specialist Ilana Bove, “Stock the Stacks” was implemented schoolwide. All grades had one week to collect donation items with each grade focusing on a specific item of canned foods, cereal, household cleaning items and more. Classroom grades worked together to set their personal goals. Each day items were collected, tallied and stocked on the shelves and carts of the school library.
The stacks of the library housed donations for families who faced a challenging year. As the library shelves filled up, it was a visual reminder of community strength, resilience and hope. Bove said, “This is another example of why Timber Trail is a place ‘Where Hearts and Minds Connect.’”