Leadership class collects canned food from school and the community

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: KATE HOOTS - Justine Cohen, left, and Jessica Small are organizing a community-wide food drive, with neighorhood pickup of canned good scheduled for Saturday.Students at Wilsonville High School have set an ambitious goal of 7,500 cans for the canned food drive they are organizing and are asking community members to help them reach that goal.

The drive began Monday and runs through Dec. 13.

Students planned to distribute fliers to the community in early December announcing a community-wide pickup scheduled for this Saturday.

Community members who wish to donate need only to leave their donations on their porches, with the flier attached, and high school students will fan out through the city to collect them.

“We have four active student councils,” WHS senior Justine Cohen said. “We’ll divide Wilsonville up, and we’re hoping to get loads to the food bank.”

Cohen and her classmate Jessica Small are leading the effort, which started in the Leadership 2 class with teacher Jeff Deeder’s support. While Small is the overall student leader, Cohen is taking the lead on rallying the community to support the food drive.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: KATE HOOTS - Wilsonville High School student leaders Justine Cohen, left, and Jessica Small sort through donations in preparation for the schools canned food drive.“I’m in charge of the community part of it,” she said. “I’m going to rally classes and get them motivated to go into the community.”

The leadership class has activities planned for the school, too, to raise interest and awareness, starting with a slam-dunk contest this week. Ten young men will gather around a basketball hoop set up in the Pointe with the winner receiving a food drive T-shirt.

The following week will feature a “win a date” auction. Students will bid cans of food to win lunch dates with male student volunteers. The next day, the Associated Student Body will pick up the tab for the winners’ lunch dates. In the past, the auction has brought in as many as 600 cans of food, with the average being between 200 and 300 cans, Cohen said.

Theater lovers will have another opportunity to donate, trading nonperishable food items for a ticket to see the WHS production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” That offer is available for any show. The play opens Dec. 11.

All of the food students collect will be donated to Wilsonville Community Sharing and Food Bank, located at 6750 SW Boeckman Road. Any food over the amount WCS can accept will be given to the Oregon Food Bank.

Items particularly needed include peanut butter, baby food and rice and beans, although any nonperishable food donations are welcomed. There is a need for toiletries, too, and for baby diapers.

“It’s going to be a good activity for the high school,” Deeder said. “We’ll have a lot of fun events and also do good for the community.”

Students expressed confidence they would meet their 7,500-can goal.

“That’s about five cans per student at Wilsonville High,” Small said. “It’s a feasible amount.”

Kate Hoots can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 112. Follow her on Twitter @CommuniKater.

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