Posted: Friday, November 14, 2014 8:59 pm | Updated: 11:29 pm, Thu Nov 20, 2014.
BY DAVID MCGEE | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
BRISTOL, Va. — Morrison School students spent Friday afternoon working at the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry as part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness.
Five students from the private school sorted donations of canned and boxed food items and filled boxes for distribution. Supporting the community is a regular occurrence, said Emily Ratliff, the private school’s development director.
“We’re doing our part to show that giving is important and giving back to your community is a good thing to do,” Ratliff said. “It’s a lesson we always teach at Morrison School to all our students and we brought our student council to the food bank today so they can see firsthand what it’s like to give back to the community and how it can make a difference in people’s lives.”
Student Ameris Bleckley said helping others makes her “happy.”
“We’re doing this to help people who don’t have much food at their houses,” Bleckley said. “I’m excited the food pantry and my school are helping other people.”
In addition to giving their time, students collected canned and boxed food for the food pantry. Both the donations and the labor are welcome, pantry Director Jim White said.
“We’re not out like we sometimes are, but we’re getting low,” White said, adding that the shelves are expected to be filled after today’s Boy Scout food drive.
“We get all the food collected by the scouts in the Bristol area, so it’s by far our biggest drive,” White said.
The pantry has averaged filling about 500 food vouchers per month for the past five months, White said.
As part of its awareness efforts, school officials invited Twin City Mayors Catherine Brillhart and Lea Powers to formally proclaim Dec. 2 as Giving Tuesday – a national campaign promoting volunteerism and community service.
“Realizing there is a real need in our community, I’m here to try to help and to raise some awareness about that need,” Power said.
The mayors also presented copies of the proclamation to school and pantry officials.
“I think it’s good as a community to give back,” Brillhart said. “I know we focus on it a lot at the holidays, but it’s important to do it all year and we need to focus on that as well.”