Food drive at Peace Lutheran

Julia Ratcliff sorts through food for the Peace Lutheran drive this week. - Steve DeDual/Staff Photo
Julia Ratcliff sorts through food for the Peace Lutheran drive this week.
— image credit: Steve DeDual/Staff Photo

The Peace Lutheran Bobcats are in the middle of their annual food drive and this year they have even more purpose behind the event.

“After our big, Breakfast at Sally’s Homelessness Event, our student council kicked off our annual food drive,” Ellen Laurion, attendance counselor for Peace Lutheran School, said. “We have a pile growing in our commons area, filled with canned goods, blankets, diapers and other baby needs, and the list goes on.”

The student council for Peace Lutheran is made up of representatives from each of the grades from third to eigth.

These students include Aaron Becker and Taylor Bruce, third grade; Ryan Shane, fourth grade; Hannah Fassnacht, fifth grade; Alex Becker, sixth grade; Julia Ratcliff, seventh grade; and Destinee Ramos and Kendra Fields, eighth grade.

Fields, the 13-year-old student council president, said she found motivation in the words of Richard LeMieux, author of the book “Breakfast at Sally’s” about his life as a homeless person in Kitsap County.

“I definitely understood what he was saying,” she said. “It made me wanna give back.”

According to Fields, the school’s chapel service was responsible for creating a little friendly competition between the classrooms to see who can collect the most donations.

The school has acquired a small stuffed animal which resembles Willow, LeMieux’s recently passed canine friend that saw him through the experiences he had during his time in homelessness.

“The class that brings in the most donations for that day gets to have Willow in their classroom,” Laurion said.

Each week the school focused on a particular type of item to ensure a broad spectrum of collections. Canned food was collected along with diapers, blankets, a few toys and other miscellaneous items a family might need.

“We are collecting items until Christmas break,” Fields said. “And we are still getting more than 20 items each day.”

The school’s drive last year yielded great results and Laurion is hopeful this year’s final tally will be even better.

“Last year we provided a literal ton of food for the community, and we would like to topple that amount, giving from the abundance that has been our blessing,” she said.

– Steven DeDual

Health care rally set for tomorrow

Health insurance reform advocates across Washington will rally at nine locations Dec. 12 to urge the Senate to join the House by passing historic health reform legislation before they take their holiday recess.

In Bremerton, activists will gather at Harborside Fountain Park next to the Kitsap Conference Center.

The statewide action has been organized by Health Care for America NOW! and the Healthy Washington Coalition. The organizations comprise hundreds of groups representing small businesses, labor unions, health care providers and community organizations from across the state working to secure quality affordable health care.

The rallies are designed to shore up Senate support in an effort to pass reform that will help solve the challenges people face from rising health care costs and a lack of adequate health insurance – from families that incur budget-breaking debt because of limited health care coverage to the uninsured who go without needed medication.

The event will start at 10:30 a.m.

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