Quinny Boyle and Lilie Theby
November 15 2022
“The donations support the residents at Grassroots as well as their community pantry. Grassroots has a number of programs to support the Howard County Community,” said Ms. Chaudhry, the teacher of the Leadership and Service Learning class.
The Leadership and Service Learning class taught by Ms. Chaudhry have put together a food and items drive for the Grassroots Crisis Intervention shelter, “a 24/7 single point access for behavioral health, crisis and homeless services for individuals and families.” The drive started on Monday, November 7th and is ending on Friday, November 18th.
“She [Ms. Chaudhry] came up with the idea, from a teacher or someone outside of the school, and thought we could do that for the school to help other people,” said a member of The Leadership and Service Learning class. “So we started the drive here.”
Grassroots is a private, nonprofit organization that began in 1969 made up of all volunteers, and is now a professionally staffed multiservice crisis intervention center serving Howard County and Central Maryland.
To support Grassroots, Atholton students are encouraged to bring in food items. The shelter is only able to accept certain donations, so the Leadership and Service Learning Class recommends the following foods as donation items: Student Acceptable Donation Items.
Atholton staff are also encouraged to bring in food such as canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon, etc.), flavored mini coffee creamers (hazelnut, vanilla, mocha, half and half), and bottled water. These food items are easily transported and greatly appreciated by the Grassroots shelter.
Hygienic items are also sought out by the shelter. Particularly, body wash, deodorant, body lotion, hair conditioner/items for all ethnicities (not shampoo), laundry detergent pods, paper towels, new bath towels, and diapers.
Many of these items can be found for cheap prices at Target or Kohl’s. In fact, with the use of stacked coupons, these items can amount to just a few dollars, and can make a substantial difference for those at the shelter.
There are boxes around the school for students to drop off items; located in the front office, cafeteria, and media center. Staff can drop off items in the mail room or any of the planning rooms in the building.
The boxes are emptied by students in the Leadership and Service Learning during the 4A period, so make sure to drop off your donations before then. The drive is student-led and took two weeks of planning before it launched. Ms. Chaudhry explained that “the students wrote emails, announcements, learned to approach and speak with administration, front office, and other adults in the building.”
The Leadership and Service Learning class is going to continue to have drives, so lookout for more opportunities to donate throughout the year!