Cans of food cover tables in the high school cafeteria.
This food will help needy families in Lake Stevens have a happy holiday season.
This time of year brings with it many opportunities to serve and the students at Lake Stevens High School have taken those opportunities very seriously this year.
Students from Mr. Joe Cronin’s Leadership class decided that 2009 was the year to really make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate by collecting food and gifts throughout the month of December.
After only three weeks of asking the community and students for donations, Lake Stevens High School collected more than 29,000 food items that will be delivered to the Lake Stevens Food Bank and over 850 gifts, which will go towards the Lake Stevens Family Center’s toy drive.
“The kids have worked really hard and the community support has been remarkable,” Cronin said.
Caitlin Obee, a senior and committee chair for the food and gift drive, wanted to be a part of the committee after seeing the work her grandmother has done over the years collecting food donations in Everett.
“I always feel bad for those less fortunate,” Obee said. “I knew that with a big school and great community we could do a good job collecting for families.”
Students spent countless hours asking for donations in front of Safeway, Jay’s Market and Walgreen’s, each of which the Leadership class feels grateful for.
“Safeway was phenomenal,” Cronin said. “Jay’s and Walgreen’s were great too. We really appreciate all they did to support us.”
Joe Cronin, LSHS leadership teacher, speaks to students and shows off a trophy for food drive success.
The students started by setting goals and then figured out ways to reach them.
“I told them to set a big goal, and they set a huge goal,” Cronin said.
But thanks to evening blitzes throughout different neighborhoods, nights standing at the doors of Safeway, Walgreen’s and Jay’s Market and competitions throughout the school, the students surpassed their goals.
“The students are the ones who really made the food drive,” Obee said. “They all did a really good job.”
The students also got other groups involved to help in their effort to provide food and gifts for local families.
“This year we worked with the Kiwanis Club and Cavelero Mid-High,” Cronin said. “The district office was also a huge help.”
Cronin, who was born and raised in Lake Stevens and coaches football and basketball at the high school knew first hand what the Lake Stevens community can accomplish when they all come together for a common goal.
He and his students were instrumental in throwing together the benefit auction for Coach Biggs two years ago after he had a heart attack during a football game.
“We’re like a family who always rises to the occasion,” he said.
Obee, who wants to become a nurse and travel the world helping those who need her, has already learned what a difference a community can make when they work together.
“Coming together for a greater good can make a big difference,” she said.