The tree leaves are turning, and the cool winds are biting at your nose. The time of year has come for us to take part in a long-held tradition here in America: Thanksgiving. However, many people across the nation will not be able to afford a full Thanksgiving dinner, especially this year.
For the last 20-plus years, the student council at Bear Lake High School has been taking action to help pay for dinners all across the valley. Tammy Stephens has been the Student Council Advisor at the school for over 24 years. She began the Thanksgiving dinner donation tradition a few years after she took over as advisor. Every year, the student council senior officers have taken on the responsibility of gathering donations to pay for the dinners.
“The community is to thank for all of the great donations, and I’m really excited to get the dinners ready and to keep working on this project,” said Halsey Gross, one of the seniors who went to gather donations. The council gathered just over $3,000 in total over two days.
Donations came in from businesses and individuals who saw the high schoolers in town in their fancy attire. The other schools in the Valley also helped when the seniors visited all three elementary and middle schools.
For the past several years, the middle school student council has worked hard to collect donations from their peers, donating several hundred dollars each year to both Thanksgiving and Toys for Tots.
From here, the money will be taken to Brolium’s to purchase all the ingredients for dozens of full Thanksgiving dinners. The dinner ingredients will then be given to families in need. Any money left over from the Thanksgiving dinner donations will be used to help with the Toys for Tots Christmas drive.
“ I am always so thankful for the community support, from money donations to family referrals, and although I do sometimes worry that we might miss someone, it seems that because so many people look out for their neighbors, we don’t,” Stephens said as she reflected on the past few years of dinner donations.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting many households across our community, this program may be more necessary than ever. The school is taking referrals for families in need from now until November 5th. If you have a referral, or would like to donate to this cause, please contact the office at the high school.