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Chester County Press

Kennett High School Humanitarian Club gives back to the community

12/22/2020 01:14PM ● By Steven Hoffman

Every fall, Kennett High School’s Humanitarian Club holds a food drive to benefit the Kennett Area Community Service (KACS) food cupboard. This year, due to the economic impact of COVID-19, the need for donations was significantly greater. For that reason, club members chose to step up their efforts. 

Lisa Teixeira, Humanitarian Club advisor, said,“In recognition of all of the community support that the KHS Humanitarians and Mini-THON committee have received over the years, the club leadership decided to focus all of their activities during our first semester on helping the Kennett Square community.” 

Motivated by the generous spirit of the local community, then, Humanitarian Club co-presidents Emma Henderson, Gavin Maxwell, and Grace Pruitt, along with food drive chairs Carly Cicconi, Julia Dahms, and McKenna Norton, developed a strategy that involved several different fundraisers. 

The creativity, dedication, and passion behind their ideas resulted in a contribution to KACS of $2,900, along with 1,000 pounds of food and 32 frozen turkeys. 

“I am so proud of the students and their can-do attitudes, particularly given the many restraints in place because of COVID,” said Teixeira. “Without even being together in school, they managed to plan and implement a successful food drive. During these difficult days, the spirit, unity, and service our students have demonstrated have provided inspiration, gratitude, and hope to us all.”

The plan included both in-person and virtual options for contributing, and many club members took on the task of overseeing specific activities: 

~ Zara Quraishi and Gavin Maxwell organized the Rita’s fundraiser in October;

~ Gavin Maxwell and Emma Henderson created a Turkey Trot that encouraged runners to seek sponsors and complete a 5K on their own;

~ Nina Gralewski-Goel and Sydney Lillard designed and sold “Let’s Can Hunger” t-shirts; 

~ Together, the committee solicited corporate donations and set up a GoFundMe page;

~ Shawn Duffy, Humanitarian Club co-advisor, collected frozen turkeys in the parking lot before school;

~ Carly Cicconi and Gustavo Castaneda created commercials for KHS’s Youtube channel to encourage non-perishable food donations that could be dropped off at all KCSD buildings and a variety of other Kennett Square locations, including the library, Longwood Performing Arts, El Nayarit Mexican Grocery Store, Giordano’s, KMC Dance/Gymnastics, and Guadalajara Express. 

~ Clara Morrison managed the club’s social media to get the word out about the variety of ways to get involved in the drive. 

Senior co-president Gavin Maxwell said, “COVID has doubled the number of clients at the food cupboard. In light of economic adversities, the community’s willingness to rally in support of KACS has been more inspiring this year than ever. I’m so grateful for the opportunity I have to witness local generosity on a regular basis.” 

“Last spring, when we started planning for this school year, there was no hesitation from anyone about focusing our efforts on the Kennett community for the first semester, which I think can be seen in the success of our fundraisers. It’s been really cool to see how much we as high schoolers are capable of achieving, especially in the middle of a pandemic,” added junior co-president Grace Pruitt. 

Senior co-president Emma Henderson summarized the club’s sentiments simply: “We are just so thankful for all the help from the community in supporting the food cupboard.” 

The last online push to benefit KACS was a Giving Tuesday bingo game on Dec. 15.

The Humanitarian Club is grateful for the ongoing sponsorship of several local businesses, including Austin and Bednash Construction, Inc., Kennett Education Foundation, Sinton Air Conditioning and Heating, Chatham Financial, High Tech Auto Body, The Perfect Impression, Kennett Copy and More, Cricket Wireless Kennett Square, and Baccellieri Family Dentistry. 

And the club appreciates also the donations from The 76ers, La Verona, Grain, Nailish Salon, Cafe de Thai, Lily Asian Cuisine, Kennett Inn, The Produce Place, Barnard’s Orchard, Taqueria Moroleon, Kennett Domino's, Floga Bistro, Sam’s Subs, Landhope Farms, Hearth Kitchen, Kennett Brewing Company, State Street Grill, Luigi’s Pizza, Bravo Pizza, Dunkin Donuts, and Wendy’s. 

With a successful food drive behind them, the Humanitarian Club is already gearing up for their next big undertaking—the fifth annual MiniTHON, scheduled for May 21, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year’s MiniTHON will be a drive-in event.