Woodside Elementary School families and staff members are showing compassion for others once again this Thanksgiving season by donating turkey baskets to families in need in Milwaukee’s Notre Dame Middle School community.
For the fourth year, Woodside students were asked to donate money they earned by doing chores at home. With more than $2,275 collected, 32 parent volunteers shopped for groceries to build the baskets. Items included a frozen turkey, bag of stuffing, jar of gravy, white and sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables, bread, canned cranberries, a fresh pie, beverages, appetizers such as crackers and nuts, along with an aluminum roasting pan. All of the items were put into a large sturdy laundry basket and delivered to families.
“This has been an extremely rewarding service project for all the students,” said Rayelle Simonsen, a Woodside teacher who helped organize the collection. “It’s amazing how just doing a few chores around the house is now going to feed 35 families.”
Notre Dame is a successful middle school in Milwaukee that serves Hispanic girls in grades 5-8. The school’s academic outcomes includes a 98 percent high school graduation rate with 82 percent of its students continuing on to college. Some 94 percent of the families live at or below poverty level and the past few years have been especially difficult because the recession has affected many jobs. Notre Dame recently added a co-ed primary school which has increased the need for baskets.
Remaining money after the Thanksgiving meals were purchased was donated to the Sussex Food Pantry.