Everyone has heard the common phrase, “it’s better to give than receive.” However, with the all too common holiday hustle and bustle, giving back isn’t always placed on the top of everybody’s list.
For Central York junior Haylee McHale, giving back to the community is routine. McHale helps by spending her time with Stillmeadow Church’s Mission Bus.
“The purpose of the Mission Bus is to provide food to children who need it,” said McHale, who has been volunteering with this group for two to three years now.
According to McHale, the bus travels into different parts of York City roughly once a month to give food.
McHale and others help the children through the process of giving back and recommends it to others.
She also takes pride in her work, saying, “It’s a very rewarding feeling and [it] makes you feel grateful for what you have.”
Another source of giving within the community comes from Central employees Regina Peckmann and Amy Musone. Peckmann and Musone created the Panther Pantry as a way to give back, specifically to the Central Community.
The Panther Pantry is a district-wide food pantry, that was created in 2014.
“At the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year, our school board president, Mike Wagner, raised awareness that there were children in our schools who were hungry,” said Peckmann.
Once a month, the pantry selects a date where families come in to select their food.
“Each month, usually the third Tuesday of the month, the pantry is open from 5 to 6 p.m. Families can come to the pantry to select food and household items,” said Musone.
As far as volunteering goes, the Panther Pantry relies on donations of food and supplies like paper products, detergents and cleaners from Central students and families. Groups like the middle school and high school student councils, Girl Scout Troops and other volunteer groups come in to help sort and stock shelves as well as check expiration dates.
The months of Nov. and Dec. are busiest for the pantry according to Peckmann and Musone. During these holiday months, the pantry collects and distributes special items like treats for families and kids as well as turkeys and “fixings.”
However, it takes a lot of work to be able to pull it off.
“We can always use help with recruiting donations, brainstorming for special projects and monthly organization of the pantry before distributions,” said Peckmann.