As fun music was piped into the school gym throughout the day, Oak Mountain Middle School students were working hard to pack over 10,000 meals that will benefit impoverished children and families in Haiti, Uganda, and right here in Shelby County.
The school’s PTO partnered with The Champion Group to raise money and host a Feed the Need packing party on October 20, where students packed meals in assembly-line fashion during their Physical Education (P.E.) period. In addition to providing a worthwhile community service project for the students, the school’s PTO will receive $10,000 of the $30,000 total that was raised through the online giving platform provided by The Champion Group.
According to Principal Larry Headrick, The Oak Mountain Middle School PTO initiated and facilitated the fundraiser to help replenish PTO funds that have been depleted due to COVID-19 shutdowns impacting the school’s other fundraising events such as the various school galas held several times throughout the school year. Originally, the PTO wanted to set a higher goal of raising enough money to pack 20,000 meals but did not want to compete with the school’s annual Toys for Tots drive which will occur in November.
Haynes said every teacher was involved in promoting the two-week fundraising effort to students through their advisory period. Much like the school’s annual Toys for Tots fundraiser, students participated in a friendly competition among grade levels and advisory periods.
Students received training on the process at the beginning of P.E. then donned hairnets and gloves and got to work packing an average of 1,800 bags per class. The bags were filled with a mixture of rice, beans, dried vegetables, and other nutrients and then were sealed and packed into boxes that will be sent to an orphanage in Haiti, to Sozo Children to serve children in Uganda, and to Oak Mountain Missions.
“The students really enjoyed it and got into it,” Haynes said. “We had some fun, appropriate music playing to make it fun. It has been a really great day.”