Text by Valkyrie Reed, Senior, Trinity High School
As of September 19, Trinity High School was on a mission to provide much-needed food to families across the HEB area. That mission ended with the close of the Black and Blue Food Drive on October 7. Teachers and students filled boxes with canned foods and sent them off in the care of student council members and volunteers. Trinity participates in the competition every Fall, but the Trojans have yet to claim victory. This body of students may have been competing against their rivals at LD Bell again this year, but the Food Drive is about more than beating Bell. It's about putting charitable desires into action to help the less fortunate.
The Student Council has taken charge of the food drive at Trinity every year. This year, their new president, Alisha Mumbrawala, found the food drive to be another opportunity for her to give back to the community. At the start of the drive, Mumbrawala and the Student Council got straight to work by putting a box in each classroom so that students could donate cans during their third-period class. To promote the food drive, they even set up a pizza party as an incentive for the class that donated the most items. After the deadline Friday, the Student Council gathered the donations in one place so that 6 Stones volunteers could pick them up and deliver them to the New Hope Center. From there, the cans will be distributed to families that need the food the most.
“[The Food Drive] was actually a very good experience, and I’m glad Trinity holds something like this every year because it helps a lot of people, not just in our community, but also in our school,” Mumbrawala said.
She isn’t the only charitable soul taking charge in the Food Drive. Courtney Barton, a science teacher at Trinity, led her class in putting together their collection of goods. At the time of her interview, Barton and her class had gathered 370 cans with the intent of collecting more by the deadline. She views the Food Drive as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of compassion and to better understand the circumstances of people around the community.
“I think it’s important to remember that even when we feel like things aren’t great in our life… there’s always people struggling for basic needs, and it’s important to remember those people, especially since they’re in our own community,” Barton said, “There are even students at Trinity who are struggling to eat every day.”
Although Barton has never found herself in need, she plans to instill the importance of charitable giving in her peers. She motivated her class to give by promising to donate the same number of cans that her students brought in. This offer led to the start of a giving frenzy in her class and even impacted her family. Barton hopes to inspire those closest to her by demonstrating benevolence in their everyday lives.
“It’s something that my husband and I…[have] talked about instilling in our kids. For example, we just had our daughter’s first birthday party, so we asked people instead of cards to bring stuff for 6 Stones: boxed food, canned food, toiletries…She has everything she needs, and as she gets older, she’s going to need to learn that, you know, it’s not all about her, it’s about other people too… We want to teach our kids that it’s important to think of the people that have less than them,” Barton said.
Barton’s charitable soul has touched her class in profound ways. Inspired by his teacher’s example, Brian Leiva, a sophomore this year at Trinity, donated nearly half of the total cans his class collected. Leiva’s giving impressed and inspired his classmates and teachers as the Food Drive progressed.
“[I donated] around 144 cans… I feel pretty happy that I helped because I have never done anything like this before at any other school I’ve been in. I feel like I did something good for other people that don’t have that much,” Leiva said.
Even though Trinity High School was not able to surpass the efforts of LD Bell, the loss did not matter to the Trojans. Trinity’s student body saw this experience as an opportunity to fill the pantries of many families in HEB’s vast, diverse community. This year’s Food Drive has enlightened teachers, students, volunteers, and people all over the community. In that regard, the Trinity Trojans have truly made their mark in the battle against hunger in our community.