Fifth graders working to help the homeless and hungry

Mrs. Colwell's fifth graders pose with the clothing and food they helped collect.
Photo by Karen Diefendorf/Woodinville Weekly.

by Karen Diefendorf
While most people are looking forward to Thanksgiving feasts during the month of November, the fifth graders at Hollywood Hill Elementary have had other things on their minds.
    Although their clothing and food drive has been a yearly project for the students at the school, this year's fifth graders became worried that many clothing and food donations do not go directly to those in the shelters, and of particular concern has been the need of women and children without homes.
    Jake Kulina explained that when their teacher, Cathy Colwell, went to visit a shelter, most of the homeless were women and children.
    "It's important that these clothes go straight to the streets and not to a discount store to be resold," he said.
    Women and children are the fastest-growing population among the homeless, the students learned.
    "More children's things are needed because most people donate adult clothes," Whitney Hogle said.
    Nathan Schnioll, another 5th grader, said the food they were collecting would go to the Northshore Food Bank, "because they were running low."
    The Hollywood Hill drive is a cooperative effort with Inglemoor cheerleaders Beth Colwell, Stacy Roh, and Stephanie Tran, who will be transporting the food and clothing directly to the food bank and shelters.
    The students' goal has been to cover the tiles in Mrs. Colwell's classroom with the collected clothing and food, and they have all worked hard to meet that objective.
    In recognition of the coming winter weather, sweaters, ski outfits, shoes, and jackets have been collected, but many more are needed, so the fifth graders and the IHS cheerleaders are inviting the community to bring canned food or clean used clothing to Room 23 at Hollywood Hill Elementary during November.
    Everything will be delivered directly to the places and people who need help.