An inspired group of students partook in a large act of kindness not for a senior project or a school club, but because they simply wanted to make a positive difference. Freshmen Lily Jensen, Twesha Modi, Gabriela Grachen, Kiara Devese, Alaine Giovengo, Isabel Talarico, Leila Wynnychyj, Katie Carlson, Brooke Mellon, and Jennie Morris decided to start a school wide food drive, under the name #ShowNotTell, from topics they were learning and discussing in their history classes. Much of their enthusiasm stemmed from involvement with Project 2015, a video conference a few of the students took part in during January of this year. Junior Chloe Mellon also helped with the extremely successful food drive, which provided over 500 food items split between the North Hills Community Outreach and a handful of families within the Avonworth district.
“…the Action2015 video conference, it didn’t encourage many schools to take action. But we decided to take action anyway” said Katie about the #shownottell efforts. “I created a sign up sheet and gave an announcement to be spoken on the loud speaker and 10 to 12 kids showed up for the meeting.” Katie took a huge part in the food drive and said that it felt nice being able to feel like she was making a change.
Katie felt that a lot of people didn’t follow through on the things they were trying to do here at Avonworth. The group of students who started the food drive tried to enlist the help of other schools such as Quaker Valley and North Allegheny, who also attended the conference, but neither school followed through. They were also able to get a hold of a state senator who contacted them but was only concerned with “promoting his [political] campaign and not issues such as poverty and hunger.” Katie wished that they could have made a greater change and had gotten more schools involved but she and all of the others involved were very proud of the outcome.
The most donations came from Mr. Tuffiash’s homeroom. “I left my room the day before with a tiny box barely filled. The next day, after coming back from arena scheduling, I was stunned by how much they brought in.” said Tuffiash about the four bags of donations. “I really appreciated the kids who took time to do something so simple, but deeply meaningful for people who struggle just to eat 3 meals a day.”
Mrs. Maisner supplied the donuts and juice for a breakfast sendoff right before spring break. “It restored my faith in humanity,” said Maisner about not only the organization of the project, but the success as well.