Giving back: Artemis Center hosts holiday food drive

Cardboard+boxes+labeled+for+each+grade+level+are+placed+in+the+front+hallway+for+students+to+leave+their+donations.+On+Friday%2C+Dec.+3%2C+the+food+drive+hosted+by+The+Artemis+Center+officially+began.+The+Artemis+Center+partnered+with+the+Westside+Food+Bank%C2%A0and+students+can+donate+canned+goods%2C+boxed+cereal+and+more+until+Dec.+10.

Photo credit: Cadence Callahan

Cardboard boxes labeled for each grade level are placed in the front hallway for students to leave their donations. On Friday, Dec. 3, the food drive hosted by The Artemis Center officially began. The Artemis Center partnered with the Westside Food Bank and students can donate canned goods, boxed cereal and more until Dec. 10.

By Cadence Callahan, Voices Editor

Members of The Artemis Center have been planning and preparing for the holiday food drive, which started on Dec. 3 and ends on Dec. 10.

The Artemis Center is a school organization aimed towards public service and social good. Throughout the year, the center hosts various drives and provides students with volunteer opportunities. According to The Artemis Center advisor Beth Gold, the objective of this drive was to give back to those in need in the West Los Angeles community. 

“We did Adopt-a-Family for a number of years, and this year, we decided that we wanted to be more community-oriented,” Gold said. “With Archer being on the Westside of Los Angeles, we want to support the Westside Food Bank.”

The Westside Food Bank is located in Santa Monica, California, and serves over 200,000 families and individuals. Some of the items the food bank requested include canned goods, boxed cereals, grab-and-go items such as granola bars and non-perishable juices like Capri Sun.

Although this specific drive isn’t an annual event, Archer has partnered with the Westside Food Bank in the past, and each grade that brings in goods for the drive will receive spirit points.

I think it’s important to find an issue you’re passionate about, and having this event with the Westside Food Bank is a great way to discover service passions, and other ways to get involved with communities outside of school. ”

— Zoe Woolenberg

According to junior Zoe Woolenberg, one of the student leaders organizing this exchange, there was “work all around from students and teachers” to make this event happen.

“Ms. Gold and Ms. Hazell-O’Brien were the ones who started it, gave us the idea, and now we have students all over The Artemis Center working hard on the drive,” Woolenberg said. “There’s a lot of effort going into it from students and teachers to set this up.”

The Artemis Center also collaborated with The Giving Spirit, which is an organization focused on helping the homeless, and supplying them with survival kits that contain necessities like snacks and hygiene products. Woolenberg operated a table on Dec. 3 in the courtyard where students could create personalized cards that will go into these survival kits.

Gold said it is important to come together to give back to the community in a time where topics like politics and other issues divide us. 

“Giving creates a sense of connection between people, and right now, after COVID, with political divides that exist in the world, everybody needs to feel good. Everybody wants to feel good, [and] everybody wants to feel connected and part of something bigger than themselves,” Gold said. “Any small act of generosity, even if someone isn’t in a position to buy canned foods or buy something for someone else — even making a card, thinking or drawing a picture — that just draws on what makes us human, brings out our own humanity and connects us with others.” 

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  • Students create personalized cards for The Giving Spirit’s survival kits, which will go to members of the homeless community in Los Angeles. The table was operated by junior Zoe Woolenberg, who has worked closely with the organization.

    Photo credit: Cadence Callahan

  • Students write and decorate cards for The Giving Spirit’s survival kits, which will be given to the homeless. The survival kits will contain hygiene products and food.

    Photo credit: Cadence Callahan

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