ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - There was an atmosphere of joy at Grace Christian School in Alexandria on Friday as students and teachers spent their class time preparing meals and boxing them up, ready to be distributed to both the Manna House and even to Haiti.
For the first time, the school participated in the "Feed the Need" program. The project's title says it all. It’s a mission to feed meals to those who would otherwise go without.
"Whenever you see the videos and you see the kids who don't have any food and you want to help them and you finally get to help them, it's very…calming to know that you're helping a kid have a meal,” said seventh-grader Brooke Hollingsworth.
Money flowed in from different sources. Some came from sponsors, but most was raised by students who asked for donations, gave their own money, and some who got a little creative.
"Some of the older students did car-hopping at Sonic and took the tips," said school principal Kay Blackburn.
One month was all it took for students to bring in 100,000 thousand dollars with about 50 percent of that going to feed the hungry.
Students and staff said it's a learning experience and a time of growth for the school.
"The world has opened up to them,” said kindergarten teacher Kimberly Madrid. “Every morning, we eat snacks in our classroom, and we pray for our snack, and the children have realized, ‘I have three or four choices of snack...and there are kids in Haiti today who don't have any choices.’”
It's also been an opportunity for team building among the students.
"The way our school is set up, there's like elementary on one side of the campus and the high school's on the other,” said event coordinator Lisa Holt. “Because of the way that we've done this fundraiser, it's bonded those two together, and like you'll see today, we've got seniors in high school who are working with pre-k."
It was a way to teach kids that the way to succeed in life is to give, and for these students, that success starts by feeding the need.