Aimee Nana collected holiday meals for school staff members


My Freshman year, my Student Council class and I witnessed a growing need among the janitorial staff in my high school. Our janitors were and are some of the kindest, most positive individuals I have come to know but unfortunately lived very hard lives.

Through various conversations with certain staff members, we learned that the majority of our janitorial staff lived on the poverty line and often worked multiple jobs a day. As the holidays were approaching, I discovered that many of the school's janitors struggled to find simple odd jobs just to feed their families throughout the week. I quickly decided that something needed to be done to show our appreciation and support. For many years, my school held a food drive for Thanksgiving in order to give meals to families in need.

We decided that something needed to change and it was our job to help. We had been helping big organizations and overlooking the immediate need at our home school. Myself, along with my fellow classmates and advisors, voted to hold the food drive for our deserving staff members that we all adored. We spent weeks collecting and buying food for a proper Thanksgiving meal for our janitors.

I helped run fundraisers and was even able to lead one on my own. I managed to raise over $200 for the drive by asking students in my community to donate to the important cause. The day that the meals would be distributed came quickly as e anticipated the end of the food drive, but the day had come. We packed meals for hours, making sure each meal was full of food and love.

It was finally time to give our staff the boxes full of food and the reactions lay in my heart to this day. Gratitude swept their faces as they thanked us for the gesture and continued to share their stories of struggle. It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I am now going into my senior year and am the president of the said council. I cannot wait to lead my school on this special food drive and give our sweet janitorial staff their yearly boxes.

— Aimee Nana, 19, Oklahoma