The annual can drive organized by Student Council will raise money and cans to benefit the Johnson County Christmas Bureau, which provides holiday assistance to low-income families in the community. From Nov. 1 through 23, students are encouraged by StuCo to bring cans and other non-perishable items to bins located outside of the main office and throughout the school.
The can drive has been held at East for over 25 years. In the past, East has been the largest source of donations to the Johnson County Christmas Bureau in the district. According to StuCo sponsor Brenda Fishman, East students have raised well over $10,000 in cans and monetary donations in previous years. This year, StuCo hoped to further stimulate student involvement through the Can Olympics Assembly in which 11 students from each grade level competed against one another in various events, including a soup-eating contest and a relay race.
“I think [promoting a competitive spirit] makes students want to participate more,” student body president Morgan Twibell said. “We’re hoping that it will bring in more cans than we ever have, especially since we’re not doing a Bachelor’s Auction. A lot of times people don’t realize what we do, but the can assembly, I hope it continues on as a tradition and actually helps people understand what we’re [trying to accomplish].”
In addition to taking part in the general drive, each grade level represented in StuCo will also organize projects of their own.
For their can drive charity projects, the freshman members of StuCo will be organizing a competition between seminar classes in their grade. Students will bring cans to their respective seminars, and the seminar that collects the most cans will be rewarded with a donut party. The competition will begin Monday, Nov. 7, and last until Friday, Nov. 11. For their second project, the freshmen will place a wooden box on the fourth floor by the counseling center for students for students to contribute spare change. Freshmen will contribute pennies, and sophomores, juniors and seniors will contribute coins of larger denominations. The idea is to have the freshmen compete with sophomores together with the upperclassmen to see who can bring in the most money. This competition will last the entire can drive.
“I think that it’s really good to give back,” Freshman Class President Maura Kate Mitchelson said. “I just want people to donate a lot. I want our project to be successful.”
The Sunday before Halloween, or-treating would entail. Because the sophomore members of student council got a head start on their project for the can drive: they went trick-or-treating for cans. The event took place in the neighborhoods of the class officers,and nearly 200 cans were raised toward the Johnson County Christmas Bureau.
Sophomore Class President Sara Nestler hopes to be more involved andintouchwithherclassmatesinall of StuCo’s projects this year; she feels the can drive is a good place to start. In order to spread the word about the charity event, class officers went around to seminars and explained the purpose and logistics of what trick-or-treating would entail. Because the event took place before the general drive, the sophomores will be taking on an additional project: they are planning to collect donations and cans at a varsity football game later in November.
“I don’t know if we’re focused on how many cans we get, we’re more focused on getting a lot of people involved, and then if we get people involved, hopefully that’ll translate to getting a lot of cans,” Nestler said. “The can drive is really important be- cause it’s helping out people in our community, and it’s really focused for people in Johnson County.”
Junior student council members will go door-to-door raking leaves in Prairie Village neighborhoods in exchange for a suggested donation of $50 to raise money for the can drive. According to junior class president Sydney Bahr, the event is an easy way to raise a large amount of money in a short of period time. Last year, they collected more than $300 in exchange for raking leaves. This year, they hope to have even more success with the project.
“I think that we, at Shawnee Mission East, are very fortunate,” Bahr said. “And I think sometimes we lose sight of the needy in our neighborhoods, but I think it’s really good that we can all come together and do stuff for our zip code, for Johnson County.”
The senior class officers and representatives plan to hold competitions between clubs and organizations at East to see who can bring in the most donations. Bins placed by the entrance on the south ramp will be marked with the name of each organization. In the first week of the can drive, football will compete against soccer. In the second week, the drill team will be pitted against the cheerleaders, and in the third, The Harbinger will compete against Hauberk. At the end of each week, the organization with the most cans will be the victors of the competition. A competition between underclassmen and upperclassmen will extend throughout the three-week drive.
“We really want to do our part to make sure as many families get helped as possible,” senior class president Erin Cosgrove said. “We’re hoping, as seniors, to get the senior leaders in different organizations to really push the members of their specific groups to get involved and donate to the can drive.”