Little Orcas donating big at South Whidbey Elementary School | NOTABLE

Nolan and Brennan Pearson bring in their first load of non-perishable food for the South Whidbey Elementary School food drive.   - Kymy Johnson photo
Nolan and Brennan Pearson bring in their first load of non-perishable food for the South Whidbey Elementary School food drive.
— image credit: Kymy Johnson photo

South Whidbey’s youngest philanthropists have been busy gathering food for Good Cheer Food Bank this month.

Students at South Whidbey Elementary School have participated in a food drive since Nov. 30. As of Dec. 9, almost four barrels were filled.

“It’s getting pretty significant down there,” said Good Cheer community outreach coordinator Shawn Nowlin.

Ellen Wallace, a student services employee at the school, has coordinated the Good Cheer food drive for several years. The final day to add non-perishable foods to the barrels is Wednesday,

Dec. 14. Wallace and Nowlin are hoping to fill seven bins.

“We’ll see how we’ll do,” Wallace said. “We’re pushing for that.”

“It’s similar to last year. It’s harder to get donations, because everybody’s stretched right now.”

The school did not have any classroom competitions. Wallace instead opted for a low-stress drive.

“A lot of students in our buildings are recipients,” she said.

Next week, Good Cheer will pick up the food, and some of the Orcas may lend a hand. Wallace credited the students for promoting and leading the successful drive.

“We have several students generating enthusiasm about it in their classrooms,” Wallace said.

Some students from second through fifth grade remind the school about the food drive during the daily podcast. It’s worked well with the school’s new initiative, “The Leader in Me,” based on Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

“We can really get into more leadership roles and getting the kids involved with this,” Wallace said.

“The kids really love doing this. They get excited to walk by the barrels and see there’s more food.”


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