By: David Cutright
When an individual begins to achieve success in their life, not only do they have the ability to improve their own situations, but often times they have the ability to improve the situations of others. This is a value that West Virginia Junior College attempts to instill in their students throughout their educational journey. WVJC attempts to show the students the value and benefit of helping others through class projects and various community activities.
As many people know, students often times rely on the school system for providing breakfast and lunch throughout the school year. During the summer months the absence of this support can really create additional financial burdens, not only on the individual families, but also, on the charitable organizations that support these families.
When discussing possible community projects, Mr. Cutright’s Communications class decided they wanted to take the opportunity to do their part to help with this problem. They decided that the class would hold a food drive to collect items for a local food pantry that needed assistance with getting supplies. With the assistance from several local businesses and several local media outlets to help spread the word, the class started a two week food drive to collect items for the local food pantry.
When WVJC’s administration heard about the project, they were very eager to help in any way that they could. In addition to the food collection activities on campus, the school decided to use the annual WVJC summer block party as a fundraiser for the food drive.
Each year WVJC Bridgeport holds their summer block party to not only welcome the new students, but to also have a day of fun for the current students and their families. While admission to the block party was free, there were several activities to raise money for the food drive. There was a hotdog eating contest, various outdoor games that could be played for prizes, concessions, and most important to the students, the school had a dunk tank set up where students would be able to dunk their favorite teachers! Students could pay a small fee or pay with a food donation to participate in these activities.
The WVJC summer block party was a huge success with a very large turnout that helped accelerate the success of the food drive. Thanks to the food collection efforts of the local community and WVJC students and staff, we were able to provide over 200 individual meals for the food pantry. The summer block party also raised over $400 to be directly donated to the local food pantry.
Through these efforts, many local kids were able to get the food they need to help them through this difficult time. Representatives of the food pantry were very thankful as their supplies were dwindling. Thanks to the efforts of the students, the school, and the community, what started out as a little class project ended up making a real difference for many kids in our community. It goes to show that when people get together and work to make a difference, some really amazing things can happen!