Joliet students demonstrate compassion for others

The Joliet Food Bank was the recipient of great generosity from Rachel’s Challenge students last month, when they presented a check for $1,083. This money was raised through a friendly competition when K-12 students challenged each other to show support for their favorite teams – the Cats or Griz – by placing monetary donations in designated containers. The Cats edged out the Griz by just a few dollars, but the true winners in this competition were the clients of the Joliet Food Bank.
Spearheaded by Joliet teacher and Coach George Warburton, Joliet students have taken on Rachel’s Challenge. Rachel Joy Scott was the first student killed in the Columbine shootings in 1999. Rachel, who was known in her school for her kindness, compassion, and befriending those who were different, had written a personal Code of Ethics shortly before her death. In it, she expressed her code as being “honest, compassionate, and looking for the best and beauty in everyone.” Rachel’s parents established the organization in her name, and her words and actions continue to inspire millions, including Joliet students.
Warburton was impressed how even the younger students got in the spirit, emptying out their piggy banks and bringing in not only coins, but other valuables such as Chuck E. Cheese tokens.
In addition to this generous donation, the Joliet Food Bank also received $700 from butter braid sales from the Rockvale Ramblers 4-H Club, and $500 from the Joliet Middle School students who sold Blue Book coupons.
Boosting the value of these donations, the Town Pump Charitable Foundation teamed with food banks throughout the state, including the Joliet Food Bank this year. All donations made though November were matched by Town Pump, so the students’ donations will be doubled. This is a great gift to the Joliet community just before the holidays.
In the past year, the Joliet Food Bank has helped over 100 families who have experienced hunger and food insecurity in the communities of Joliet, Silesia, Edgar, Fromberg, Boyd and some areas of Roberts. The organization’s mission statement is to “provide monthly food baskets to those in need,” and these donations by our caring and compassionate students have helped to fulfill that mission and have truly made a difference.
The Joliet Food Bank is open Mondays except for holidays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone in need is welcome to get a monthly basket. The only requirement is some form of ID.
Some people just need a little help through a rough spot, and others – often families with small children – need assistance for longer periods, according to information provided from Rachel’s Challenge. For however long the need, the Joliet Food Bank is there to help. For more information call Elaine Nowak at 962-3132.

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