By Ryann Harold, staff writer
Prospect High School is having its annual PHS Canned Food Drive to collect canned goods for the Mount Prospect Village. Second period classes will be collecting cans up until November 29th, when the boxes of cans will be brought down to the commons to be delivered to the Village Hall.
There, the Village will give out cans to local Mount Prospect families in need. With the cans directly helping people in our community, the drive has a personal feel to it.
Service Club Sponsor Erik Hammerstrom felt the impact the drive has on the community when a student approached him in the hall one day after seeing all the cans waiting to be taken to the Village. She explained how her friend was in need of food, and was excited to see how much was going to be accessible to her friend and his or her family.
“It really brought it home to me that it’s not just dropping it off and walking away; here was a student walking up to me…” Hammerstrom said. “It’s really meaningful to realize that this isn’t just going off to some place, this is people that we walk around next to, talk with, sit next to in class everyday, that might be benefiting [from] this. And to me that really hits home.”
Every winter the Village is thrilled to receive thousands of cans from Prospect, and Hammerstrom hopes to beat last year’s record of 3,500 cans.
The Village was able to give out cans that Prospect collected all the way into the summer and spring months, when donations are often fewer.
With easy access for people to donate and easy access for people to receive donations, the PHS Canned Food Drive has continued for years, each time raising not only the goal but also the bragging rights for teachers whose classes collect the most.
The class that collects the most cans earns a breakfast, and the division that acquires the most receives a Golden Can, along with great pride.
For years Social Sciences/World Language Division Head Gary Judson has taken the Golden Can, and with his retirement after this year, teachers are curious to see if he will bring the Can home one last time.
All the competition between teachers is just a bonus of the drive, with the real winner being the community.
Mary Hafertepe, a sophomore at Prospect and a member of Student Council, believe that the drive connects well with what Knights Way addressed: selflessness.
“This canned food drive really shows how selfless [Prospect is] and how the holidays really bring people together… I’m really proud to be apart of prospect,” Hafertepe said.