by TaLeiza Calloway
Halloween this year for some people will be about more than seeing who can collect the most candy. Some students at St. Cloud Technical High School have chosen to focus on those in need instead.
Three student organizations have pledged to collect items for local food shelves instead of the usual bite-sized candy bar and other forms of candy this year. This is the first time the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society is participating in the service project. Student groups like the Student Council and Social Justice Movement are attempting it for a second time.
Students will distribute flyers this weekend to give residents time to prepare donations before they arrive. St. Joseph residents and sisters Ariel and Kateri Theisen will trek from door to door in a group to collect food items.
“I’m excited to see the first food item collected,” Ariel Theisen said. “That’s the hardest one. Candy is fantastic but you can’t live on candy.”
After the first item is collected, the high school senior says it will be a smooth transition into collecting more. She’d be happy if she and her friends filled up the back of her Durango, but she will head out with an open mind.
Kateri Theisen is a member of the social justice club and student council. She said they attempted to collect items last year but were unsuccessful due to low participation. They hope to change that with more feet on the ground pitching in. The 15-year-old sophomore said the efforts show how aware teens are and communicates to those in need that they’re not alone.
“It’s really important to be involved,” Kateri said. “Our generation knows about social problems and we’re trying to fix them. To me we’re giving hope.”
Tyler Benning, a senior at Technical High School, suggested the National Honor Society chapter do this as a service project. Benning is the chapter treasurer. He and some of his friends collected food last year and he thought it would be a good idea. They donated the food to Catholic Charities, Benning said.
“Hunger is a very important issue to me,” Benning said. “We are so prosperous in this country. We need to think about it (more).”
Benning said about 10 groups of up to four students have signed up to participate in the effort. When he did it on his own, he collected 198 pounds of food, Benning said. With more people collecting, he’s hoping to make a real difference. The National Honor Society has 57 members.
There is no set route and students aim to cover as much territory as possible. If they miss your house, residents are still encouraged to drop off items to their local food shelves.