Students at Battle Ground Public Schools came together to make a difference in the community as they hosted a sock and soap drive in October.
Lynne Berry, a fourth-grade teacher at Glenwood Heights Primary School, organized a soap drive event, which brought in items like laundry detergent, dish soap, body wash, shampoo and deodorant.
“We have three kids from each of our four classes, and so our school typically does some sort of a drive in October,” Berry said. “This year, I kind of presented it to the fourth grade student leadership team and they wanted to collect items for the family resource center.”
The students learned the family resource center was low on supplies when the school year started. Their soap supply had been depleted.
“I shared that with the kids (and) they said yes. They wanted to collect soap, body wash, shampoo, laundry soap and deodorant for the family resource center, and so they wrote a proposal, sent it to our principal, (and) he approved it,” Berry said.
She said the kids spread the word about the drive through posters they made and placed information about the event in their morning announcements. They also checked the collection bins around the school every week and provided updates on the amount of items they collected during the announcements. In total, the group collected 205 items, Berry said.
She noted she was surprised to receive that many donations due to the state of the economy and the amount of families who are struggling.
“(With) the generosity of the families just willing to help those in need, knowing there was a need in our community, it was the students and our families that pulled it off,” she said.
Berry said staff members also donated items of their own.
Instead of a soap drive, Pleasant Valley Primary School held a drive dubbed “Socktober,” which collected socks for people. The effort was led by kindergarten teacher Michelle Anderson and her class.
“Socktober is a sock drive during the month of October and it was originally created by Kid President … and his brother that originally started Socktober,” Anderson said. “They started it for the homeless community because socks are the number one item that are needed for the homeless community.”
Throughout the month, Anderson’s class brought in a total of 1,767 pairs of socks, as well as seven blankets.
“That’s just because we have a really caring and giving community in our area of our school and our parents and students and staff,” Anderson said. “The community members that are involved with our school, I feel like they’re a really caring and giving community, and they’ve always donated when they needed donations for things.”
Many of the socks were given to the school’s family and community resource center (FCRC), which serves families in need in the community.
“We have students that are homeless or that are just in need, so of course, we want to try and fill that need first,” Anderson said. “We give a lot of the socks to the FCRC, but then we’ve also donated them to some other shelters that Lydia Sanders has recommended to me. One year, there was a women’s shelter in Battle Ground that I donated some of the socks to as well, and I’ve always taken some down to Open House Ministries in Vancouver, which is a shelter they actually built some apartments there for families that are in need.”
A news release from Battle Ground Public Schools stated that Prairie High School also brought in 650 pairs of socks during its October drive.