We are in the season of giving and of hope and those are gifts, traits not to be held onto but used to help others in our family, our circle of friends, and to the local community and beyond.

The part of the season of giving perceptually not always carried out is that it's a year round, never ending part of who should be, who we are -- it's not just a November-December thing, but, there is a great need at this time of year.

For 14 years now, Manchester Township High School has held an annual Helping Hands for Hunger initiative to help school district families in their time of need heading into Thanksgiving thru donating food and monetary collections.

"It is a district-wide initiative to help families in our district who may not have a Thanksgiving meal," Sarah Thiffault, Vice Principal of Manchester Township High School who has been organizing this initiative for 14 years along with Manchester Schools Paraprofessional Brenda Jernack, tells Townsquare Media News. "The idea is to not just help them on Thanksgiving, but, to also provide food for a few days afterwards."

Manchester High School
Manchester High School

Many individuals and their families are facing difficult times right now financially and Thiffault explains that it's important to recognize that we need to help each other.

"We could all be in this situation one day or another, so, it's just helping out our neighbors," Thiffault said. "I think it's our job to look out for each other and that's what we're doing."

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Members of the district are getting together soon to make up food baskets and then returning to their schools to begin the distribution.

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Google Maps

"We have a committee of staff members from every building in the district and then they go back to their schools and use their clubs, their athletic teams and they volunteer donations for these specific food baskets," Thiffault said. "Every basket is identically packed and then they also get a turkey as well for Thanksgiving."

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Your help is needed in this ongoing drive which wraps up on Monday November 21, as school officials will deliver, hand-out items to those in need as we approach Thanksgiving.

"Any kind of monetary donation, gift cards from your Stop & Shop, your ShopRite, Costco, BJ's, anything like that," Thiffault said. "Then, we also do a packing day where members of the community come in and our school district -- we all come and pack -- looking at about 200-250 baskets to pack, there's a lot of items, so definitely, more hands make light work."

While they are accepting food donations, the gift cards and monetary donations would help them the most right now to get things like butter and eggs.

This is the Manchester community coming together for one another.

"It's just amazing how people pull together to help their neighbor, it's a really phenomenal district," Thiffault said.

If you have any questions on the drive, you can contact Manchester High School Vice Principal Sarah Thiffault at sthiffault@mtschools.org for information.

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