Written by Chris Ryan
“Too easy!” That’s what Karrie Franks, a parent at Rio Del Mar Elementary in Aptos said when the food drive she spearheaded started taking off.
The school pulled out all the stops to raise food and funds for Second Harvest–it was like 5 drives in one. Enthusiasm ran high, their ambitions kept getting higher as the end date approached, and when it was all over they had raised nearly 50% more meals than they did last year.
Stick It to Hunger Students received a strip of duck tape for their cash donation, which they wielded on the big day, December 14, to stick Principal Dorney to the wall (yeah, literally).
Be the Change–Students were encouraged to toss their spare change into buckets in the classrooms. Karrie’s daughter, Lulu, spearheaded this campaign with the mantra, “4 quarters equals 4 meals!”
Online Donations–Parents, staff, and other members of the school community donated to the campaign online. People were surprised to hear that Second Harvest can stretch a dollar 9 times as far as it goes at an average supermarket, so they were excited to donate cash knowing how much food Second Harvest will turn it into.
Fill the Barrels–they filled barrels with canned and dry food again, but focused on raising funds this year, which helps explain how they were able to raise 25,000 more meals than last year.
And finally, Karrie was again able to connect with a community-minded local business to secure a DOUBLE MATCH for the drive. So all the efforts of the kids and families at the school got multiplied, thanks to the generosity of Eleica White and “Embedded.fm,” a podcast about engineering featuring interviews with makers, entrepreneurs, educators, and engineers.
The grand total at the end? 77,000 meals! These will be deeply appreciated by children, working families, seniors, homeless, and others in Santa Cruz County in need of some help.
Karrie thinks that rallying the community for this is “Too easy!” And it is easier than most people think–but Karrie is modest, too, and we’d like to send her, her daughter Lulu, and everyone involved deep appreciation for they energy and spirit they put into raising food for the community. And Karrie would like to give special thanks to Becka Lynn Lee for her graphic design work, Corine Csermelyi, Jennifer Powers Christensen, Missy Hajduk, Desiree Stilwell, Kristen Whitwam, and Victoria Haller for helping with Stick it for Hunger, and to all the parents that donated rolls and rolls and rolls of duct tape!
The community at Rio Del Mar can enjoy their vacation knowing they dealt hunger a solid blow this holiday season!