Emma Newman staff writer
To thank troops and veterans, PTSA coordinated with ASB to organize a candy drive with the organization Operation Gratitude, which sends full-bagged candy to servicemen and women. The event will take place on Oct. 30 on the corner of Moreno and Durant.
The candy drive incorporates a candy war between the grades, and the grade that donates the greatest amount of candy will be rewarded with sweets once school resumes. Operation Gratitude is also promoted by Pavilions, which will be donating candy and distributing it evenly among the classes.
PTSA president Jeannine Ramer coordinated the event after a parent, Laurie Goldsmith, approached her with the idea. Ramer liked the idea because of the level of community interaction it promoted.
“I thought it would be a great way to get our community involved in helping given the fact that trick-or-treating looks a bit different this year, and that we’re trying to build community within the PTSA,” she said. “It also provided an opportunity for us to involve ASB and create a community among ASB as well for them to get out there and help promote giving back.”
Ramer has worked to advertise the event by posting on the PTSA newsletter and Facebook page, and by posting fliers across Pavilions.
Ramer’s idea was shared with ASB advisor Nick Henggler, who helped “spearhead” the movement by encouraging donations from the student body. PTSA community service vice president Glenna Baron helped organize the drive as well, putting together the collection of candies that will be donated to Operation Gratitude’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
Henggler worked with Ramer to create the idea of making a candy war because he thought it would be a motivator for students to donate.
“The idea for candy wars is an opportunity to create competition, have a prize, have stakes and then hopefully get people inspired to want to win,” Henggler said.
The winning grade of the candy drive will either receive Krispy Kreme donuts or ice cream once in-person classes resume. Despite this incentive, though, Henggler is unsure about how large the turnout will be.
“I’m hoping that people show up,” Henngler said. “It’s hard [because] this is a unique time. I don’t know if people are going to leave their homes or participate, but I really hope that they do because it’s all for a good cause.”
Baron believes that the candy drive is important because of the joy it could bring to soldiers and veterans.
“Everybody loves candy and the troops work so hard to protect America,” Baron said. “They give so much of themselves and their families give so much of themselves.”
Ramer and Henggler both think that the event could also have the positive effect of raising school spirit. Ramer believes that the candy drive is a way to “bring everyone together,” while Henggler sees it as a way to boost morale.
“We’re all looking for meaningful interaction right now, and this is something that you could meaningfully do to make an impact on someone’s life,” Henggler said. “We’re all separated from one another, physically, [and] the country’s really divided, and so this allows us an opportunity to come together and do something for the greater good,” Henggler said.
Ramer sees the drive as a way to make a real difference in a troop’s or veteran’s life.
“Any amount of gratitude that we can show them and give them for what they do for us [is important],” Ramer said. “The littlest thing goes a long way. I thought that if we promote it by having parents and students buy different bags of candy that we can donate, which is a bit safer this year due to COVID, I think that’ll mean a lot for them.”