Tuesday, November 18, 2014

 "Do the Right Thing Food Drive" 
4,456 cans and $135


High School






YAC, YLOKC-Casady, YAC'S Peace Team Connected
International Compassion Games Cyclones' Action

Peace Team member motivates high school teens to donate
Middle Division students motivate peers to donate
Lower Division donors pause for a picture
Primary Division donors take donations to the Food Bank trailer
Peace Team Member leads the PD Hope Trail to the Food Bank trailer

To give peace a chance-Hunger makes animals out of men- members of the Peace Team (Miranda, Johnny, Ananya, Sidney,and Turner) facilitated and supported the efforts of the service club, YAC  (Youth Acting in the Community) promoting a different kind of Food Drive the week starting on 10/31 and ending on 11/7/2014.   YAC's motto was: "Donate to end hunger in Oklahoma because it is the right thing to do."  The Food Drive was also Cyclones action during the Compassion Games International.  The games called for schools to promote acts of kindness, compassion and service on campuses around the world.

The 9th grade English teachers promoted learning about food insecurity in Oklahoma City with materials from the Food Bank.  The freshmen connected short story about hunger to their hunger simulation.  Father Blizzard read at Calvert hunger statistics provided by the government class and an English teacher challenge her classes to bring more cans than the 30 she personally brought.

The freshman YAC leadership sponsored, "Give without expecting anything in return."  YAC was inspired by a story told at a YAC meeting by an English teacher, Mrs. Stephanie Crossno.  Mrs. Crossno stated that a New York firefighter who helped at the bombing and died on September 11th,  came with $20  in his pocket and left OKC with the same $20 in his pocket.  Due to the generosity of heart of Oklahomans supporting his "human efforts" after the OKC bombing, that gesture became the "Oklahoma Standard" for the firefighter.  Mrs. Crossno stated, I know Cyclones care.  We just need a clear goal and reminders.

The YAC freshman organizers of the drive had a creative campaign of #30/6//26000 cans."  Sara wrote a letter to parents. Kira created a reminder flyer for other divisions Safra made a "lend a can" thank you sticker, and Miriam and Safra created a network of YAC members who helped made and decorate boxes as well as greeted and thanked early morning donors in all divisions and helped count cans.

The goal was to collect the most cans possible.  Monetary donations were also welcome because $1= 5 meals with the Food Bank .  If every student from k-12th brought one can a day, representing a mere one can per day of the month, or 6 cans every day of the food drive, or 30 cans one day of the drive, Casady could donate a huge number of cans to help feed 110,000 Oklahomans in need of food weekly.

Members of the YAC Peace team, Johnny, Ananya, Sidney and Miranda guided the ninth grade drive facilitators.  They also brought cans and were on duty motivating others to donate at different divisions. Kathy brought cans and Turner, Ananya and Sara organized an online reminder application, "celly," with limited success. YAC reminded peers with a"home made" chain of # Bring 30 cans  they placed in lockers and on backpacks the day before the drive ended.

At a reflective YAC moment, the freshman leaders of the drive in the Upper Division, Safra and Mariam stated that they were encouraged by the response, especially  the first days because, although they designed a sticker to thank donors, most did not even the stickers since "doing the right thing" was reward enough.  Next year, the freshman leaders suggested for YAC to continue the standard promoted this year, "Do the right thing Food Drive."

The Food Drive Team


A Peace Team Member Reflects

Whereas I was not able to participate in quite the strength that I would have originally liked to, this year's Peace Week turned out exponentially better than last years, and involved a significantly larger portion of our Casady Community. 

The Upper School managed to make roughly 1,000 pinwheels and raise $1,000 for Pepper's Ranch, a non-profit organization focused on getting orphaned foster kids out of the Oklahoma Foster System and house them until they are able to find a "forever home". In contrast to last year where the entire Upper Division only managed to make one pinwheel. I am happy that I was able to go with Mrs. Clay to Pepper's Ranch this summer and organize this and this worked out. Mrs. Crossno was instrumental in organizing a vast amount of the pinwheels being made by utilizing her freshman English classes.

 From what I could see Claire's peace art advocacy project was a big hit with the lower schoolers, and Cathy's connection's to peace through sports worked out well at the Matt Terry Memorial Softball part.  Unfortunately due to bad weather earlier in the day Miranda's picture of school wide unity ended up being just of the Upper School, but now we know how we can better situate the circumstances of such an activity should we want to re-create a similar activity again in the future. Johnny and my presentation in Chapel was alright, but moving forward I think we as a group realized the importance in planning ahead. We were also fortunate enough to Skype with a man from Peace One Day, who was very complimentary about what we were doing, but I wished we had discussed more of what we could do to have an impact on a larger scale, and maybe we can explore that as a possible avenue for next year.

I  truly believe what made this year's 11 Days of Global Unity more cohesive and doable was the amount of work invested -We(The Peace Team-Johnny, Miranda, Cathy Claire/I/Mrs Clay invested during the summer. Thankfully Mrs. Clay and Youth Lead adults-Mr. Noel Jacobs- and Casady YAC/Youth LEAD member, Mallory W.- were able to attend the Day for Kids at the Boys and Girls Club on Saturday the 20th.  They were able to uphold Mrs. Clay and my commitment to them and provided a diversity of ways of stating peace and kindness in the different languages represented at the Interfaith Alliance and the Casady Service-Learning Program provided materials and volunteers to empower participants to leave their "Vision of Peace" and take a seedling to plant in their community on the International Day of Peace, September 21.  The seedlings were donated by the Oklahoma Department of Forestry.   Unfortunately due to debate I missed the event and the Interfaith Alliance Youth Tour on Sunday the 21st, which I had planned to facilitate and, amazingly 300 people showed up, where we had initially predicted only 180.

Hopefully next year I am able to organize my schedule around Peace Week and am able to facilitate the Interfaith Youth Tour and take on a more direct role in Peace Week, vs a more supervisory/indirect role that I had this year. Mrs. Clay and my Recipeace meal with restaurants did not pan out quite as we had hoped, but we did meet a very receptive bunch of people, and found out that small business are the only ones realistically able to partner with us as we move forward. 

During this experience with Peace Week, and all the planning it entailed, I learnt how to proposition various businesses, facilitate meetings outside of Youth LEAD, and for that I am truly grateful. As we look to the future and improving Peace Week. As we continue to progress, and add to Peace Week here at Casady, and awareness of the International Day of Peace on a Global front; I can smile knowing that even though it was not as spectacular as I could have imagined, it was successfully, accomplished, and I can move forward knowing that my voice, and the visions of my peer's invested in this week were heard by people with microphones such as the Compassion Games, the Shinnyo-en Foundation and Peace One Day.