by Paula Coughlan
SUGAR GROVEâ€”Five students from John Shields Elementary School, along with Kaneland social worker Nicole Pryor, recently collected lots of needed articles for the Between Friends Food Pantry, but none of the items were edible.
Alison Daeschler, Nick Grimes, Thomas Huff, Madison Jordan and Daniel Stotler are all fifth-graders whom their teachers chose to coordinate the event because of their leadership skills.
After consulting with food pantry manager Melisa Taylor, the students named their effort â€œWipe Out Weekâ€ to show that anything that could â€œwipe,â€ such as paper towels, baby wipes, Kleenex and toilet paper, was desirable.
Between Friends receives many food donations especially during peak times, but the pantry was in dire need of paper products. Taylor told the students, â€œIf you canâ€™t eat it, we need it.â€
To get the word out about the collection, the students sent flyers home asking families to, â€œHelp us â€˜wipe-outâ€™ the current needs at the food pantry.â€ A poster the class created for John Shields hallways said, â€œDonâ€™t Blow It,â€ requested Kleenex donations.
Stotler gave a Powerpoint presentation in the school lobby to remind students to bring in their donations. Stotler, Jordan, Daeschler, Grimes and Huff created and put up posters outside of classroom doors, helped with clean up afterward and participated in a Wipe Out Week skit prepared for the morning announcements.
Pryor said that through these types of projects, students learn about helping people and working together.
All of the students said they learned that there are always people who need the basic necessities of life, especially in our worsening economy. They were amazed when Taylor told them that sometimes the food pantry is so short on paper items that they can only give out one roll of toilet paper to an entire family.
Their collective effort resulted in â€œlotsâ€ of donations, the students said.
The Between Friends Food Pantry that the local students helped
recently is located to the rear of the Engineering Enterprises, Inc.
building at 52 Wheeler Road,
Sugar Grove. For information about donating or obtaining pantry items,
call (630) 466-0345.
Photo: John Shields Elementary students who conducted the Wipe Out Week collection for Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove were (from top left) Allison Daeschler, Madison Jordan, Daniel Stotler and Thomas Huff. Photo by Paula Coughlin