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West Linn High School marks its centennial with enchanced Canned Food Drive open to the community

In celebration of its 100th year, West Linn High School's Canned Food Drive is bigger and further reaching than ever. With the goal of collecting 100 boxes of canned food, senior and Associate Student Body President Averi Fels said the student-run drive is pulling out all the stops to garner donations.

"This year, we're really trying to revamp the Canned Food Drive and encourage everyone to participate," Fels said. "It's going to be super fun to see how much we can collect and accomplish together."

The key to participation is accessibility, Fels said, so the leadership team has reached out to elementary and middle school principals throughout the district to set up collection sites at other schools, as well as at the ASB office at West Linn High School.

For students who might not want to lug canned food around in their bags, the drive also has a Dollar Day, with collection envelopes in every WLHS classroom. All funds collected on Dollar Day will be donated to the West Linn Food Pantry.

But Fels stressed that the drive is not just for students and their families, but is a chance for the entire community to come together in giving. To accomplish this, she said it all comes down to planning and reaching out to community partners.

"When it comes to planning our events, we have all of our ASB officers, which are 14 of us, and a couple of them are dedicated to each event we host," Fels said. "For this one, we have three or four people on it, and we start from square one with marketing, advertising and social media, contacting everyone. There are all these different aspects to really pull it together and it is 100% student-run, but we're lucky to have connections from years past. For example, with the Oregon City Elks (Lodge)."

To make it easy for community members to participate, the ASB has created the "Can Van." Located outside of the Cascade Summit Safeway (22000 Salamo Road), Fels said she hopes folks will see the van and feel inspired to pick up some canned food while shopping.

"One of our ASB members has a really cool van with purple windows," Fels said. "We thought that it would be fun to park it outside of Safeway (as a collection point)."

Beyond the ASB's big goal of collecting 100 boxes of canned food, Fels hopes the drive will be about more than just collecting provisions.

"We really try to incorporate all these more charitable events throughout the school year, along with your basic fun ones. We call it the kale in the smoothie," Fels said. "It's important to teach the student body how to be good community members, caring for people from the point of privilege that we have, and showing them how to be awesome people in the world."

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