Junalukska Elementary School’s White Christmas Canned Food Drive ended on Tuesday, Dec. 15, and brought in more than 6,000 cans of food from students and teachers.

All cans that were collected will help feed local families that are hungry.

“After the White Christmas canned food drive and after they told us how many cans we collected, I even wanted to do another food drive,” said JES third-grader Briggs Crowder.

Mrs. Noland’s class was the top class in grades K-2 and Mrs. Willoughby’s class was the top class in grades 3-5. Both classes will receive an ice cream party as a reward.

This drive, led by Junaluska Elementary School’s Student Council, collected a total of 6,482 cans this year.

“It is so amazing to get so many cans, and I feel proud about helping out this much,” said fifth-grader Levi Wood, who is also on the student council.

“I felt proud that our school raised that much,” added fifth-grader Drew Early. “It was not about the ice cream party, but about those families in need.”

“Being able to help other people does wonders for our own mental health,” said Joy Sollie, counselor at JES. “The students at Junaluska Elementary were able to experience this firsthand during their fall Canned Food Drive. Organized by the Student Council, all grade levels worked together to collect over 6,000 cans to be donated to those in need. The cans kept pouring in, this was an amazing effort by all involved.”

“It makes me feel good because we are helping local families in need,” said Brady Epps, fourth-grader.

“During these trying times being able to go the extra mile for others is so important,” Sollie said. “When social distancing and reduced social interaction are at the forefront of these students’ lives daily, being able to pull together and work on a common goal was something that got them excited.”

Travis Sorrells from Evergreen Packaging was impressed and thankful for the students’ generosity.

“I want to send a big thank you to the students and staff at Junaluska Elementary School for doing such an amazing job on the White Christmas canned food drive,” Sorrells said. “With everyone in our county already dealing with the burden of COVID-19, it is great that the kids have stepped up in a huge way. It is awesome to see the kids helping out their community.”

Third-grader Hannah Fulton, who also serves on the student council said, “The Canned Food drive made me feel great to be helping so many people.”

“It was pretty cool because it helps tons of families that need help, added fourth-grader Tristan Johnson.

Several students admitted that it made them feel good to give back to the community.

“The canned food drive made me feel good and very happy, and I really liked people bringing in cans,” said third-grader Blake Townsend.

“The canned food drive made me feel happy because we are helping families have food,” added third-grader Grayson Haney.

“It made me feel great that I could be apart of helping people,” said fourth-grader Melody Kirkpatrick.

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