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Making a Difference: CES Cares teams with the Giving Tree

two girls drawing posters

Every month, Colonial Elementary School’s CES Cares students come to school an hour early to kick off a month-long service project. For February, the club partnered with The Giving Tree to assemble care bags and host a food drive. 

“We get to help out other people,” said CES fifth grader Gavin Ferrari. “It’s exciting, because we’ll be making somebody else happy.”

Two students holding care bags

The Giving Tree is a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to teach children about charity and service. For the care bag project, they provided socks, toothpaste, bodywash, and other items. The students put the items in small bags and included cards with kind messages on them. The Giving Tree will then distribute the bags to people experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County and the surrounding area.

“I liked decorating the bags,” said CES fifth grader Khadija Yafai. “We’re helping people in need, and I love volunteering.”

Three girls making posters

For the food drive, the students made posters and wrote announcements to encourage everyone in the school to bring in peanut butter crackers, individual mac and cheese cups, and granola bars for The Giving Tree’s Meals-4-Kids. Last year, the Meals-4-Kids campaign provided more than 1,000 bundles for children experiencing food insecurity.

Each month, CES Cares has a different focus. 

“We’ve done the Angel Tree, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, book donations, canned food donations,” said CES fifth grader Saranya Sakthinathan.

And each month, the CES library is packed with volunteers. 

CES Cares students in library

“I think community service is important for kids,” said CES teacher Allison Toomey. “I just love seeing the kids so excited to help people.”

Interested in donating to the cause? Colonial Elementary School will be collecting peanut butter crackers, individual mac and cheese cups, and granola bars through March 7.