'Tis the season for students to learn about how to give back and have a little bit of fun doing it.
At Jim Hill Middle School, students are holding a canned food drive competition to see whether the girls or the boys can bring in the most canned goods. The food drive will run through the end of the week.
"This is about doing good," said guidance counselor Jerica Irmen. "It's a service project and doing good for others without needing anything in return."
Velva students pose with food items donated for a canned food drive.
Kids at the school are also decorating 3-foot Christmas trees. Just before Christmas, the trees will be delivered to senior citizens who are recipients of Meals on Wheels. Different clubs and organizations at Jim Hill take part, said Irmen.
At Glenburn High School, freshman Dakota Davis organized a drive to bring in toys, personal care items and clothing for
people served by the Domestic Violence Crisis Center. Dakota's mother works there and that's how she heard about the need.
Paula Nett, English teacher and student council adviser, said Glenburn students filled four or five big boxes with donations. Dakota led the effort, which included putting up fliers and collecting donations and delivery, said Nett.
"She really took it and ran with it," said Nett.
At Velva High School, the Future Business Leaders of America have been holding a food drive for the local food pantry at Oak Valley Lutheran Church.
"We do canned goods, but they also need toiletry items, which we kind of pushed the last couple of years," said Annette Braaten, FBLA adviser and business teacher at the high school.
People are in need of items like mouth wash or toilet paper and easy to prepare boxed foods like Hamburger Helper, said Braaten. Braaten said the food pantry workers have said clients are most likely to grab the Hamburger Helper or some other food item that has preparation instructions on the box than they are a bag full of egg noodles.
"The need is there for more stuff like that," said Braaten.
Braaten said the elementary school students join in the effort.
"The elementary promotes this as one of their character traits of focus," she said. " Instead of bringing in presents for people, we encourage them to bring a non-perishable item in to donate to the food pantry to support our community."
At Sawyer, students are organizing a toy drive for needy children this Christmas.
Other schools in the area are also learning about giving back by organizing similar food or toy drives.