At right, Jackson Heights students Jacob Roseberger, Conner Sprague, James Elmore, and Gage Ovitt sit in the living room of the WAIT House with Meg Porto and baby Holly. Meg and Holly are holding the students' donation.
June 25, 2014 — The efforts of Kristy Brennan’s Jackson Heights students have resulted in a big donation to local agencies serving the homeless in Glens Falls. “We were able to raise $561 to help the homeless in our community by making meals for Jackson Heights faculty to purchase on Fridays,” says Mrs. Brennan. “We split the money between two organizations, The Open Door Mission and The WAIT House (Welcoming Adolescents in Transition).”
On June 19th, Kim Cook from the Open Door Mission came into the classroom to receive the donation and speak to students once more about The Open Door and what the agency does. On June 20th, the students took a field trip to the WAIT House to hear a little bit about their programs to help homeless youth, young mothers and their children. “The boys suggested the money be used toward food or clothing to help out the kids,” said Mrs. Brennan. “Gage Ovitt suggested, ‘The money be used to help the babies since they are our future.’ I am so proud of the boys!”
Mrs. Brennan says this months-long fundraiser has been a success due to the hard work of the students and the staff. “Claudia Michon went above and beyond to contact businesses in the area to help us out,” she said. “We received donations from Price Chopper on Glen St., Price Chopper on Cooper St. , Hannaford on Broad, Friehofer's, Ridge Street Deli, Stewart's on Ridge, Target, and Walmart on Rte 9 and Walmart on Quaker. Many staff members at Jackson Heights donated items, as well as being faithful customers each Friday.”
The students made different soups, stews, and casseroles each Friday and sold the food to faculty and staff members during lunch periods. The practiced many life skills, such as writing grocery lists, helping make posters to advertise, helping prepare the food, and cleaning up.
The class also decided to put together a cookbook of all their recipes, plus additional recipes contributed by staff members. “Jackson Heights faculty purchased the cookbooks for one dollar each, although many people gave more money toward the cause,” said Mrs. Brennan.
“I feel this has been an extraordinary experience for the boys,” she continued. “It has given them a better perspective on the hardships others face and how important it is to be a caring citizen. I hope this is a project that continues for years to come.”