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updated: 12/13/2011 7:56 AM

Stevenson students, staffers come together for charities

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Stevenson High School students and staffers again stepped up to help people in need with the 27th Give-A-Thon charity drive.

Thanks to the participation at the Lincolnshire school, about 255 Lake County families will receive bedding supplies and gifts through Catholic Charities, said Brett Erdmann, the school's community service coordinator.

Additionally, about 250 handmade fleece blankets for children were delivered to the charity.

The donated items filled a 52-foot-long semitrailer.

The school also sent 715 boxes of nonperishable food to the Vernon Township pantry. Volunteers also filled a 14-foot-long truck with supplies for babies and mothers for the PADS emergency shelter at St. Mary of Vernon Catholic Church near Indian Creek.

The donations to the food pantry and the emergency shelter are expected to last about six months.

"Since we implemented our Give-A-Thon student leader program a few years ago, we've seen a very high level of engagement in our student population and a real sense of ownership," Erdmann said. "The hope is that they'll build upon their experiences here at Stevenson and they'll later start similar large-scale service programs at their universities and workplaces."

Give-A-Thon ran from Oct. 31 to Dec. 7.

The annual event was created by the school's Spanish Club, but as the charity drive grew in the 1990s it shifted into the hands of the National Honor Society.