Students have ‘can-do’ attitude for Share-A-Christmas

Students have ‘can-do’ attitude for Share-A-Christmas
Dave Mast

Walnut Creek Elementary students Jonathon Miller, left, Elias Troyer and Autumn Beachy count some of the many cans of soup, vegetables, fruit and other food items collected during the school’s Share-A-Christmas canned goods collection drive.


Cans everywhere and not a can opener in sight, but that was OK because these canned goods were not going to be consumed at Walnut Creek and Winesburg Elementary schools, where they were being collected.

Instead the school students were bringing in canned goods that will be collected Tuesday, Nov. 26 and taken to the Baker Building in Millersburg as part of the annual Holmes County Share-A-Christmas food drive.

At Walnut Creek Elementary, boxes of canned goods were stowed away in the office area, and at Winesburg Elementary, the canned goods were being placed in a line all around the school hallways as the students tried to play connect-the-dots and have cans lined up from one end of the school’s hallways and stairways to the other to complete the chain.

It is a part of the effort of every school building in Holmes County to raise funds and food for Holmes County Share-A-Christmas.

“We have a goal of bringing in 1,000 cans at each school, but we also bring in a lot of money that Holmes County Share-A-Christmas can then turn into whatever food items they choose to purchase,” Walnut Creek and Winesburg principal Darrell Haven said. “Last year we ended up with 700 cans here at Walnut Creek, but we also had around $500 we added to that.”

The challenge to the kids is to bring in 1,000 cans. Haven said the reward for doing so, or for bringing in enough cans along with the money donated to reach that level, will result in a pretty special day as Christmas draws near.

Haven said the school-wide reward will be a movie day in which the students are invited to wear their pajamas, bring in blankets and watch a movie in the gymnasium during school.

While they watch the movie, the staff gets busy decorating the entire school in Christmas decorations.

When the kids come out of the movie, they walk into a brand-new Christmas realm that didn’t exist when they went into the movie.

Haven said when he first heard the game plan for this event, he was more than a little concerned about his role.

“My first year here, they told me my job, and it was just me, was to go in the gym and take care of all of the kids during the movie,” Haven said. “That’s 170 kids. They told me they were going to decorate the entire school building for Christmas and that it was my job to take care of the kids. I was like, no, me with 170 kids by myself is not a good plan.”

What Haven quickly found out is that the students were incredibly easy to watch over as they brought their blankets, donned in PJs, and nestled in to watch the movie.

“It was really easy because we have great kids,” Haven said. “The whole student body was sitting or laying around in the gym just engrossed in the movie, and the teachers were like little elves out in the school, decorating everything for Christmas.”

Not only does this Share-A-Christmas fundraising project pay off with plenty of goods and funds, it also sets the tone at school for the Christmas season, so as Haven said, it is a win-win for everyone.

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