SWEDESBORO — This year students and staff at Swedesboro-Woolwich School District (SWSD) collected Thanksgiving dinners for their community through an annual fundraiser called, “Turkey Totes.”
The fundraiser, Turkey Totes, began in 2008 when two teachers at General Charles G. Harker School, Cheryl Serpiello and Dana Teague, decided to give back to the community, one class at a time.
“We began our Turkey Tote Food Drive as a way to get our students involved in community service and to help children become better citizens by helping those in need,” said Serpiello. “The fundraiser started with one classroom but became so successful that we decided to open it district-wide.”
Overall, the Turkey Totes has been collecting non-perishable food items for families in need in our district for fourteen years. After the Turkey Totes have been collected from the four SWSD schools, all food donations are dropped off at Kings Things Christian Thrift Store and Furniture Store, located on Kings Highway in Swedesboro.
Kings Things, a 501(C)3 not for profit corporation, was founded in 1983 by five Swedesboro churches. Their mission statement is to, “Feed and Clothe the Needy.”
Kings Things Christian Thrift Store and Furniture Stores are operated by dedicated volunteers. These stores have enjoyed an increase of 100 percent in sales over the past 10 years and are the main source of funds for the following: Food Pantry, Benevolence Project, Thanksgiving Voucher Program and their Christmas Giving Project.
After the food is donated from SWSD, a box is created for families in the Swedesboro-Woolwich community who are in need during the holiday season.
“With the fundraiser, we were able to infuse many life skills such as disciplinary literacy skills, critical thinking, collaboration, perseverance, and empathy,” added Teague. “These are just a few of the skills students were learning from being involved in this fundraiser. But mainly, they were truly supporting our own community and providing services to those in need.”
With the holidays quickly approaching, Swedesboro-Woolwich School District collected non-perishable food items from Monday, November 8 to Monday, November 15. Each classroom had a Turkey Tote donation box in their classroom, once filled, all items were donated to Kings Things as they prepared meal baskets for families in need.