SUNS students lead food drive
A group of local high school students is combining a traditional approach to charitable giving with a new method of making a difference made possible by the Internet.
A group of 16 students from a department of Havre High School known as Students Unite for New Successes is holding a weeklong food drive to benefit North Havre's food bank, which will culminate in an Internet "click campaign." The food drive is part of an effort by the students to assist hunger-based charities both locally and worldwide.
SUNS teacher and department chair Debbie Kirby said the campaign began when the SUNS history class embarked on a unit about hunger in Africa as part of its study of current events.
The study led the students to further research hunger issues, both worldwide and locally, and in the process they discovered a Web site called The Hunger Site. At the site they learned that different corporate sponsors donate money to hunger relief programs based on how many clicks The Hunger Site receives. The more clicks per day, the more funds are donated, with each click equal to a donation of about one cup of staple food.
Kirby said no purchase is necessary to help out charities, and clicking alone helps the needy. The corporate sponsors benefit because they advertise on the Web site and have their names associated with worthwhile causes. Internet clicking can benefit a variety of charities, from animal rescues to rain forest preservation, Kirby added.
In response to their newfound knowledge about hunger, the students have also established three local food donation sites and are asking community residents to donate canned goods and other nonperishable food items at the Gallery Restaurant, the TownHouse Inns or Robins School.
The food collected will be given to the food bank in North Havre.
Kirby said the group also will collect food at Monday night's basketball games at Havre High School. People attending the games will receive a $1 discount off the price of a ticket with the donation of one food item, and the donation of two food items will serve as full admission for both games. The sophomore boys team will play Chester at 6 p.m. and the freshman girls play Chester at 7:30.
On Wednesday, three SUNS students will help serve lunch at the Feed My Sheep soup kitchen and others will gather the food from the donation boxes and deliver it to the food bank, Kirby said. The remaining students will busy themselves clicking on Internet Web sites for 90 minutes to benefit different charitable organizations.
The students have 90 minutes to contribute that day because of the semester test schedule, Kirby added.
SUNS student James Corner said he will pick up the donations from the Gallery Restaurant, where he is employed. Corner said he looks forward to taking the food to the food bank, and he thinks more effort needs to be focused locally to aid the hungry.
"There's lots of programs for other countries, but we need to focus more on programs for the hungry right here in the United States," Corner said.
More information on charity clicking and donations for the hungry can be found at http://www.thehungersite.com.