December 16, 2009
Cascade View Elementary School students and staff are filling decorated brown boxes with nonperishable food, gift cards and toys with an extra sprinkling of respect this season for the Respectful Giving Campaign.
The campaign is coordinated through Encompass, a preschool, family service center and resource for children with developmental disorders. Because Encompass helps low-income families, it was able to connect them with the Cascade View community.
The Associated Student Body representatives at Cascade View spearheaded the campaign, telling their classmates about how the holiday drive would assign each classroom an anonymous family.
The drive has an emphasis on gift cards so that the family can choose their own supplies when they receive the donations Dec. 16.
“Our intention is to practice respectful giving,” Cascade View counselor Sandy Smelser said. “Which means, in part, we want parents to be able to make decisions around what gifts are best suited for the children in their family.”
Cascade View participates in the Encompass drive every other year. In even-numbered years, the school coordinates with other local gift and food drives.
During lunchtime one day, students were eager to share why they participated in the Respectful Giving Campaign and tell of their other volunteer work.
Fifth-grader Kayla Rademacher said it was important to help people in need. She volunteered with her Girl Scout troop at the Mount Si Helping Hand Food Bank in North Bend, and encouraged others to follow suit or to get involved with a cause.
“I think it’s fun and good because people that don’t have a lot of money and don’t get enough from the food bank can get more,” Rademacher said of the campaign.
Michael McCall’s whole family gets involved during the holiday season. During a drive last year, he and his little sister Jennifer donated stuffed animals. This year, they’ll be helping even more.
“Some of the Christmas presents we get we’re going to give to the family,” McCall said.
Many in the Cascade View community brought nonperishable food to the Dec. 4 family fun night. By the night’s end, the school had amassed 30 boxes of food.
“My family brought five cans of peas,” said fifth-grader Signe Baekdahl, who said they donated one for each family member.
Like other students, Baekdahl has helped the needy on other fronts. Last year Baekdahl said she and her friends raised money from selling popcorn and cocoa, which they later donated to an animal shelter.
Fourth-grade teacher Marla Eckhart said the drive taught important life lessons.
“Hopefully, if we teach them at a young age, they’ll think about donating for the rest of their lives,” Eckhart said.
Some students could not donate because their families are in difficult financial straits. A few of the families the school is helping live on Snoqualmie Ridge, Smelser said.
“Some kids said they might not be able to give that much, but everyone is trying,” fourth-grader Will Parker said.
Cascade View Principal Ray Wilson commended the students for their dedication to the drive.
“It’s been fun to see how the willingness to give to others is contagious and makes them feel good about themselves,” Wilson said.
Laura Geggel: 392-6434 ext. 221 or email@example.com.
December 26, 2008
When called upon, Snoqualmie Valley stepped up to the plate, hitting home runs for toy drives, food banks and coat collections for those in need this winter.
Donna Padilla, the North Bend organizer of Baker’s Angels, added seven new bakers to her fold after locals recently learned about her team of kitchen wizards that baked treats for wounded soldiers.