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Cool Schools: Niles New Tech students hosting food drive for Salvation Army

NILES, Mich.-Class is in session for Michiana students and that means ABC 57’s “Cool Schools” is back. We are starting off this school year at Niles New Tech, where students are teaming up to support the local Salvation Army.

“I heard on the radio a need for help from the Salvation Army and it just broke my heart,” said Maria Culbertson, a facilitator at New Tech.

Maria heard the call for help two years ago. She immediately wanted to take action and brought an idea to her fellow teachers: get the kids to organize a community-wide food drive.

Despite recent food drives, the organization needs more of the essentials in their pantry, like spaghetti and peanut butter.

Right now, it’s all hands on deck to make sure there is enough food to feed the Salvation Army’s 100 families they serve a month.

New Tech’s sophomores, juniors and seniors are partnering up with local businesses, like Swirlyz in Niles, and other schools in the district to raise money and collect food.

The drive isn’t just helping these young minds learn the importance of giving back, but preparing them for real-life professional experiences.

“To me, it makes me feel like I am a grown up,” said Allie Robinson, a junior at New Tech.

This is the schools second time hosting the drive and this time around, they’re hoping to double the amount they previously raised.

“It’s good to see them learning how to work in the real world and work with businesses,” said Lieutenant Kendra Hixenbaugh, a Core Officer at the Niles Salvation Army.

“As  a community, we can really come together and link arm and arm, and when we do that, we’re strong and we can be a strong community supporting one another,” Culbertson said.

Their first drive raised $500 and brought in 1700 food items. Barrels and boxes will be placed at participating schools, like Howard Elementary, and business partners. As of right now, they hope to collect items until October 13th. You can find more information HERE.

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