Windham Middle School’s student council organized a fun way to gather donations to help the Windham Food Pantry and Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital with their 12 days of giving drive.
The idea came from a brainstorming session with the council. “We thought about things we’ve done in primary and Manchester,” said sixth-grader Riley Parker, who came up with the name based on the 12 Days of Christmas. They wanted to use the word “giving” because some don’t celebrate Christmas, they said.
“The idea totally came from the kids,” said student council advisor Shelly Cook. “The kids really do good things.”
Each day the council asked students to bring in an item, from toiletries and baby items to animal needs and books. On the first and last day, students, who are not allowed to wear hats in school, were able to pay $1 to wear a hat. They raised almost $200, which will go to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.
The sixth grade donated the most items and the top two classrooms were Mrs. Cook with 231 items and then Mrs. Brown at 220 items. The top team will be awarded their choice of a pizza party, ice cream sundae party or hot chocolate party. As of press time, the class had not decided which they wanted.
“It feels really good giving back,” said seventh-grader Ashley Riley. The most successful days were collecting food, toiletries and animal items, Riley said.
“I feel all of it was important. They are things people need,” said seventh-grader Katelyn Smith. “Every year we do something to give back.”
The 12 days of giving gave the students a chance to think about others. The lesson was “It’s better to give than to receive,” said Cook.
One sixth grader and her parents made it a family project, and went shopping every day for what was next on the giving list. The mother told her daughter that “We have enough that we can give to other families,” said Cook.
The items were picked up from the middle school on Tuesday for distribution.