Phi Theta Kappa members (left to right) Reporter Emily Thompson, President Leah Thompson and Secretary of Scholarship Kendall McCoy are collecting donations for a canned food drive and teddies for tots. (Photo by Allen Brewer)
By Allen Brewer
Phi Theta Kappa is hosting three donation drives to help the citizens of Tate County. A food and teddy bear drive and a Shrine Club toy drive are open to donations at the Library and the McLendon Center.
Partnered with Hope Ministries, the PTK food drive is open from Oct. 5 to Nov. 17. Non-perishables and canned foods are items in need over the holidays.
“We want to get our school involved in the community,” Emily Thompson, PTK reporter and a sophomore studying biology from Hernando, said. “That’s what PTK does, not just academics.”
The food drive donation bin is located in the Library for students and faculty to place their donations.
New this year is a teddy bear donation drive for the local police department. Created by Kendall McCoy, PTK secretary of scholarship and a sophomore studying elementary education from Olive Branch, Teddies for Tots is a project that will give police officers teddy bears to give to children they might come into contact with on a call.
“It’s a way for students to connect with the community and for us to partner with law enforcement to improve situations for everyone,” McCoy said. “I believe this will help children feel more comfortable around officers.”
By giving a bear, officers could help children who have been traumatized in a car accident or those witnessing an arrest. The donations will be collected from Oct. 5 until Nov. 14; donation boxes are located in the Library and in the McLendon Center.
A different PTK toy drive will begin soon to collect toys for the Northwest Shrine Club. The PTK toy drive will gather toys for children in the community from ages 0-12 years old. They will be given to children at the Cookies for Santa event.
“Northwest Shriners love the support of the community,” Dawn Stevens, PTK adviser, said. “We like to give back to our community.”
A donation box will be placed in the Library and the McLendon Center for donations of new toys. The box will remain until Dec. 2.
Members of the community are welcomed to attend the Shrine’s meeting Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Shrine Club building. Cookies, punch and pictures with Santa will be offered to attendees, and the collected toys will be given to the local children.
“I think that this is a good way to get involved in the community,” Leah Thompson, PTK president and a sophomore studying psychology from Olive Branch, said. “Giving back is a trait that will continue throughout life.”