The school community at Danville's Creekside Elementary gathered to give back to people in need in Haiti, with local students helping package nearly 20,000 meals for residents in flood-ravaged parts of the Caribbean nation earlier this month.
The boxed meals will be distributed to humanitarian organizations through the nonprofit Kids Against Hunger, which partnered in the Creekside event for the fourth year in a row, according to school officials.
"The Kids Against Hunger event was a huge success, with more meals packed than our school has ever done before," principal Aaron Tarzian said in a post on the school's website. "The school event provided a unique opportunity for our elementary students to actually get involved in supporting others rather than just donating money."
Creekside students also helped in raising the $5,030 generated by the school community for the cause, according to Joyce Rooks, a second-grade teacher who helped organize the event.
"Students were encouraged to use their own allowance or money they had earned from completing extra chores to make donations to this cause, with parental permission of course, to teach them how rewarding humanitarianism can be and help them see how just a few US dollars can go a long way in providing meals to kids in need," Tarzian said.
The food-packaging event at the Massara Street campus Oct. 12 saw students in all grades pitching in.
Children in second through fifth grades worked with adult volunteers to measure, pack and weigh the 19,872 ready-to-ship meal kits. Students in kindergarten and first grade decorated the packaged meals with stickers and words of encouragement, according to Rooks.
Community workers from Target and Workday also volunteered alongside the students.
"At Creekside Elementary, we believe in the power of community," Rooks said. "It is always so heart warming to watch children and adults working side-by-side with the shared purpose of helping others in our world."