Lamar gives more than 1,400 items to local food bank

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A celebrated tradition in the hallways of Lamar High School, the Thanksgiving canned food drive, has had another successful year with more than 1,140 cans donated, said math teacher Richard Ho.  

On Nov. 19, Ho and a team of his students began their morning sending emails and collecting the last of the Thanksgiving cans before dropping them off for donation at Mission Arlington.  During 4th period, Lamar’s principal Andy Hagman  made an announcement for any last-minute donations.  Finally, the donations were counted, loaded onto four cart, , packed into two separate four-door cars, and dropped off at Mission Arlington. Ho said the process was very organized and efficient.

“One thing I want to do differently in the future is, when we get donations we can sort them,” Ho said.  “They just sat here for two weeks, but there was a huge group at Mission Arlington that were in charge of sorting donations.  I feel like we could’ve done that in the time they were sitting in my room… it would’ve eliminated an extra step.”  

Giving thanks didn’t end there. Ho and his team went back to Mission Arlington the following Saturday as volunteers.  They were put in charge of organizing and loading trucks.  However, while doing so, some of the bags donated from Lamar were spotted. When he saw the Lamar, bags, Ho said he felt  a moment of pride and happiness for all of the hard work that had been accomplished.

This is one of the first years students were left in charge of dropping donations off.  

“I think it gives them a huge piece of ownership in the whole process… it allows them to take on a big responsibility, and to have been a part of something,” Ho said. “But, I think it shows them that I trust them, and that’s what is most important.”      

Ho’s classroom competition motivated kids to donate as the class period with the most donations would receive extra credit.  Ho’s third period geometry class came in the lead with almost 100 cans donated.  More so, those who helped load, and those who showed up at Mission Arlington Saturday morning, received volunteer hours for all of their hard work.