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updated: 3/18/2014 1:21 PM

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  • Matthews Middle School students packing food at the Feed My Starving Children facility in Libertyville

    Matthews Middle School students packing food at the Feed My Starving Children facility in Libertyville
    Courtesy of Diane Olson

Submitted by Diane Olson

Students at Matthews Middle School in Island Lake started off the New Year with a very worthwhile resolution of children feeding children both near and far during the months of January and February. Matthews Middle School's Student Council organized this schoolwide effort that began in October when 100 students went to Richardson's Corn Maze for a fundraiser social event. The event raised $500 which was presented to Feed My Starving Children of Libertyville when they volunteered there in February.

Student Council invited the Wauconda High School Future Business Leaders of America club to join them on this community service project and together they packed meals specially formulated for malnourished children which were then shipped to needy children around the world.

According to Tawnya Carlson, Co-Advisor of Student Council for Matthews, "Our check for $500 will feed six people for an entire year, and we packed 32,000 meals which will feed an additional 88 people for a year."

When Dylan Robinson, a student at Matthews, was asked about his experience at Feed My Starving Children he replied, "It was a wonderful opportunity to help other kids in need."

Student Council for Matthews also organized a food drive to help hungry children in their community throughout January and February.

"Student Council set a goal of 2,000 food items based on the theme, Magic of Five, which entailed each student bringing in five food items. We exceeded our goal and brought in 2900 food items and raised $83.00 for the Wauconda Food Pantry," said Lexi Ellerman, Student Council President.

Students really got behind this program, so much so that one student, Kyle Wooley, brought in over 200 food items. Ellerman, Student Council Vice President Mackenzie Machon, and Student Council Co-Advisor Diane Olson visited the Wauconda Food Pantry to personally drop off their donations and met with Margie Rucker, who volunteers and helps run the food pantry located at 505 Bonner Road in Wauconda. Rucker gave them a tour of the facility and explained how the food pantry works in order to improve future food drives.

Student Council for Matthews has five more community service projects planned for the remainder of the school year, and students are asking to do more.

"Students really enjoy community service and volunteering," Olson said. "They just naturally want to help which is why it is crucial to start them volunteering at an early age. Volunteering early helps students realize they are important, one person can make a difference, and establishes a pattern of making time to volunteer as opposed to volunteering when they are older and may be too busy or involved in other activities."