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Holiday donation drives for classrooms
MONDAY, DECEMBER 07, 2015 12:04 PM

When preparing for the Common Core social studies standards, students will learn about how economics affects cultures, families and individuals. They will learn the many disadvantages lower-income and impoverished people face and may want to help. You can get your class involved in helping others this holiday season by running a donation drive. Here are a few ideas:

Winter wear drive
Jackets and winter wear are often expensive, which means not everyone can properly prepare themselves against the season's cold weather. Snow and high winds are common during the winter months in many locations, making life difficult for people who are unable to afford warm clothing. Your class can help by holding a donation drive asking for hats, mittens, scarves and coats. Many children need this gear as much as adults, so be sure to mention that clothing for all ages and sizes is appreciated. Consider starting this drive in the fall so you can bring the donations to a shelter before the cold weather really sets in.

Food drive
To stay warm, people need to have enough food. While many places hold food drives, not everyone understands what items are the most needed. Here is a list to share with your students' families so they can purchase foods that are particularly helpful:

  • Ethnic foods are in low supply at many food banks, yet there is a high demand for them. The Orange County Second Harvest Food Bank recommended hosting theme days, like "Asian Day" or "Indian Day" to promote the donation of ethnic foods. You can even turn this into a fun class project where you use the Internet to figure out what populations in your area may prefer when it comes to meals. If there are a lot of Malaysian people, for example, consider asking for rice, curry and coconut milk. Your students will expand on their Common Core social studies knowledge and gain a better understanding of new cultures.
  • The Tri-City Food Pantry noted that tomato products, canned fruit, saltine crackers and Helper meals (chicken, burger or tuna) are much needed. It also shared that side dishes like potatoes, rice and pasta are in short supply at many donation centers. Spaghetti sauce, canned beans, baked-good mixes and toiletries are also much appreciated. Always check that the items you are donating have not expired and are unopened before dropping them off.