Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Students organize drive

Staff writer

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With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, the season for giving is in full swing and a student group at Portales High School is getting in on the action.

Fourth year science teacher and girls junior varsity basketball coach Rebekah Mitchell has been a part of a student group called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The group, which finds ways to give back to the community, came up with the idea to collect food to give it to the families of needy students.

“When Thanksgiving came around, we thought, ‘Hey, how sad for it to be Thanksgiving and not have what most families do have for a Thanksgiving meal,’” Mitchell said in her classroom. “So I emailed teachers and staff and said if you know anyone whose family can benefit from a Thanksgiving box let me know. So the teachers nominated families and we when from there.”

According to Mitchell, the students are the driving force behind the effort as they buy the food, put the boxes together and even drive to the houses of the families to give them out. This year will be the fourth year the FCA will be collecting and delivering food, although Mitchell can’t remember how the event started.

“I really can’t remember if a student started it or if it was my idea. I really don’t know. I wish I had an awesome story to tell, but it just kind of happened,” Mitchell said.

Anyone can join the group, even if they don’t play a sport. Once a week, the FCA meets and using a sign up sheet, students will agree to purchase certain items, such as stuffing, corn, green beans and many other items to create Thanksgiving boxes to give out.

“This way the families can enjoy a nice Thanksgiving meal,” Mitchell said.

The reaction from the families has been positive.

“We use our own vehicles and we tell them we wanted to do something special for their family. We say hi and the family usually says thank you and a few positive words and we go on to the next house,” Mitchell said.

In addition to the Thanksgiving boxes, the FCA also does Christmas caroling at nursing homes in Portales. During the summer, group clean homes and yards for the elderly and are always looking to do more. Mitchell is proud that participation and ideas on what else to do around Portales to help anyone in need, has increased every year.

“Every year we have about ten new students join in. Last year instead of Thanksgiving items, the students brought Cereal, granola bars peanut butter and a bunch of other items to give out that didn’t even have to do with Thanksgiving.

“The kids just love to give back. They want to help anyway they can and it’s great for them and the community,” Mitchell said.