Woodside Elementary School families and staff members are showing compassion for others this Thanksgiving season by donating “turkey baskets” to families in need in Milwaukee’s Notre Dame Middle School community.
“Helping provide a Thanksgiving basket to each family in the school is a simple way to reach out and directly help a family in need,” said Rayelle Simonsen, a Woodside teacher who helped organize the collection.
Woodside students were asked to donate money they earned by doing chores at home. With the $2,220 collected, parent volunteers will shop for groceries to build the baskets. Items will include 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 cheese, crackers and nuts, along with an aluminum roasting pan. All of the items will be put into a large sturdy laundry basket to be delivered to families.
Parent volunteers will drop off completed baskets Nov. 19 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Woodside, and individuals from Notre Dame will pick them up after 10 a.m.
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 .
Woodside has committed to providing 23 classroom baskets to help fill the need for 175 baskets for families in the Notre Dame school neighborhood. Any money left over after the Thanksgiving meals have been purchased will be donated to the Sussex Food Pantry.