Riverbank Cares including Riverbank Christian Food Sharing along with volunteers from the Historical Society, Riverbank Rotary, St. Vincent de Paul, and 60 sixth graders from Cardozo Middle School and the sixth grade teachers had one of the best Turkey Drives to date this past Saturday on Patterson Road.
“I think it went great compared to our first year when we only had about six people,” said Carla Strong. “I can’t say enough about Ms. Wallen and the kids from Cardozo. They really make a difference.”
With 23 turkeys collected, 250 cans of assorted vegetables, and over $2700 in cash donated, the day was a huge success according to organizers.
“Those kids made this turkey drive a success,” said Lynda Silva. “The day was perfect; people in the community were generous. We’ve got to give a big thank you to the Cardozo Middle School sixth graders and the faculty. This has been a tremendous year and the kids were so excited.”
The signs were all created by the students and had slogans on them like “Don’t be greedy, feed the needy,” “Help us get turkeys,” “Please help the Christian Food Share” and “Donate It’s not a Spam” while wearing a spam costume. They cheered and shouted, drawing attention to their cause.
The students will receive community service hours for their efforts which will help them get to Outdoor Education Camp. They will receive money toward their account for camp for all the service hours that they put in.
According to CMS Instructor Christine Wallen, the students showed excitement collecting money and made a few comments such as, “It’s neat that everyone is donating” and another comment that “The people are being very generous.”
One of the students shared a story, noting that a person who donated stated that the student was “so cute” and that the “dancing made them donate.”
Every student would shout “Thank you” and cheered when people donated, said Wallen.
The kids were not allowed to go into the street so the volunteers would walk out to the vehicles and collect the money or goods. Cardozo teachers Cristina Calderon, Ron Edwards, and Tara Sydnor were on hand to assist with the drive.
“The thing that most stood out to me is when a volunteer, Lynda Silva, stated that she and all the members greatly appreciate all the hard work from the kids and teachers,” expressed Wallen. “I believe that as the day went on, it wasn’t only about the student’s community service hours, it became much more, especially when they knew that they were helping the people within the community. It was quite exciting to see.”
All contributions received will stay within the Riverbank community and the Holiday Christmas food giveaway will be held on Dec. 22 at the Riverbank Community Center.
“I have a ball doing it,” Strong added. “It is kind of what starts the holiday season for me. Also goes to show that Riverbank does care.”