“Two thousand, two hundred and four!”
That’s what the students in Nicole Larson’s second grade class at Mountain Vista Elementary chanted as they posed for a photo in front of several pallets loaded with non-perishable food items and toiletries that were about to be loaded onto a truck in front of their school. Larson’s class collected 2,204 items – more than any other class – during Mountain Vista’s second annual food drive for South East Community Outreach, or SECOR. The organization provides food to needy families in Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert counties.
“We serve over 800 kids every single week,” explained Lisa Long, the Food for Thought Coordinator for SECOR Cares. “We pack bags for the weekend that typically serve a family of four, so they’ll have breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to get them through the weekend.”
The SECOR food drive was led by Mountain Vista’s student council. Ms. Larson’s class took top honors, followed by Diana Hills’ second grade class. In total, Mountain Vista students, staff, families and community members donated more than 18,000 items to SECOR, which will provide weekend meals for those 800 children and their families for more than a month.
Community service is part of the culture at Mountain Vista. In December, students collected more than 5,000 pairs of socks for the “Sock It To ‘Em” sock campaign, which provides socks to people in need, including the homeless, veterans and low-income families.
“We’re just a wonderful, giving community,” said parent volunteer Stephanie Bolero. “Our kids are learning the importance of giving back and helping people in need.”