Vice Mayor Maxwell B. Chambers of the City of Miramar participated in the Harvest Drive.
By Dr. Hyacynthia M. Leonce
Vice Mayor Maxwell B. Chambers of the City of Miramar participated in the Harvest Drive on November 10, 2016 at Glades Middle School in Miramar, Fla. The Harvest Drive is per their website: “a yearlong project that culminates in events taking place at several public schools every Thanksgiving. Families receive a complete Thanksgiving meal and a week’s worth of grocery staples, as well as personal and household necessities during Thanksgiving season.
Fundraising efforts and collections are under way throughout the fall season. In years, past, students from over 150 public and private schools, as well as churches, temples and many other community organizations, have held drives and supplied the Harvest Drive with the non-perishable food that is distributed to our families. The unique characteristic of the program is that, in addition to the business and community donations, children are at the helm of all collections.
In addition to helping others, the purpose of the Harvest Drive is to teach children at an early age that their contributions can make a difference in the lives of others.
High school clubs fundraise and collect large quantities of food obtained at local grocery stores throughout the County. Middle and elementary school students collect food and funds throughout their classrooms and other school wide activities. Civic clubs, local businesses, corporations, volunteer organizations and PTAs have generously sponsored the Harvest Drive by providing money to purchase the perishable foods.”
This year per Christine McMahon, NJHS Sponsor (National Junior Honor Society) and Language Arts Teacher, said they collected food for 178 families.
McMahon conveyed that they collected information from 13 schools and collected approximately 20 thousand items. She reported that she has been doing this for 10 years, but this is the first time she is running it alone since the leader was unable to do it this year. When asked why she has done this so long she stated “It’s such a beautiful endeavor, the donations going straight to our community. It’s not a faceless donation since these people are in my community.” I asked how the families are obtained and she relayed that there is a social worker at each school who assesses need and contacts the families, adding that Antoinette Doughty is the social worker at her school who worked very hard to make this day happen.
McMahon stated that she could not do this alone, having enlisted the aid of several volunteers. She had 50 volunteers from various places including the St. Thomas University students.
In addition, the Miramar police department volunteered their services along with Vice Mayor Chambers. Other faculty members present included Principal Ricardo Santana, who brought his young son to help out, sixth grade Assistant Principal Daniela Fatout, who stated, “this is my first time seeing an actual distribution. It is good to see the process and the families we are helping.”