Sandusky Central Catholic students fill Thanksgiving baskets for local families

SANDUSKY It was all there -- the stuffing, the green beans, the gravy, the rolls and pumpkin pie.
May 24, 2010



It was all there -- the stuffing, the green beans, the gravy, the rolls and pumpkin pie.

The bags prepared by Sandusky Central Catholic School students for needy families contained all the necessities for a Thanksgiving feast but the turkey, and there was a gift card for that, too.

Assembling these "baskets" is a longtime tradition at the school and allows the students to share some of their blessings, said coordinator Jessica Lewis, a seventh-grade teacher.

"They're very aware of the gifts that we have and the things that they have in their lives that are good, and not everyone has that," Lewis said.

Elementary and junior-high students were assigned to bring different items by grade, then got together with their "family groups" -- comprising a student from each grade K-8 -- and pooled their resources to assemble 23 baskets. High-school students gathered food for 15 more.

After setting down their food, the younger students shared what they're thankful for and decorated placemats for the Holy Angels community meal on Thursday. Seventh- and eighth-grade students made cards to go in the bags.

Turkeys traced from hands were a popular motif for the placemats. Many students said they were thankful for their friends or for family members.

That's not all the students are grateful for, though.

"I'm thankful for food and my cat," second-grader Owen Helmkamp said.

Owen said his favorite food is broccoli and that he likes his cat because "she's kind of funny and she hides."

In addition to the canned and boxed goods, the students put a $15 Kroger gift card into each bag for the families to buy a turkey or ham. Lewis said the money came from a fundraiser in which students were allowed to wear jeans to school one day in exchange for a donation of at least $1.

Later Tuesday morning, Lewis' class delivered 10 of the baskets to be distributed by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The 28 other baskets went to the Community Supper Program.

Three moving boxes full of extra food will be distributed to guests at Holy Angels' Thanksgiving meal, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday.