I am asking for your help for the needy children and their families being served by the students in Hilary Griffiths’ family and consumer sciences class at East High School, which Ryan Ottney wrote so beautifully about in Thursday’s edition of the Portsmouth Daily Times.
“It’s just a community service project that I have all of my students participate in,” Griffiths told me.
Griffiths said she began to hear about students who get nothing to eat from their noon lunch at school on Friday until the school breakfast on Monday morning. That means they do not get to eat all weekend long. She said they show up listless and inattentive.
“We have children with maybe one or two changes of clothing,” Griffiths said. “So we provide food. We provide clothing. And we provide hygiene packs.”
Hygiene packs include items they don’t have in their homes — basic items such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
“We buy backpacks and the students come to me when they need food,” Griffiths told me. “We started out with 38, Frank, and within a month we’re feeding 160 per week, because people found out that we don’t disclose who they are, what their situations are, and I’m the only one who has access to the list.”
Griffiths said her group is feeding families as large as 12 members.
“We have some kids who live without utilities — some who don’t have doors and windows in their houses. They don’t have can openers,” Griffiths said. “So we use soft foods like sausage and canned hams, all of those kinds of things for a meat source, peanut butter, fruit, both fresh and canned, vegetables frseh and canned, breakfast cereals and breakfast bars.”
Griffiths was already getting to me when she took it a step further and talked about the need for baby food.
“We are in need of baby stuff. We are always in need of formula and diapers, especially the last part of the month,” Griffiths told me.
Recently a fire in the room at the school destroyed all of the contents which would have caused a lot of people involved in such programs to just throw up their hands. But Griffiths didn’t and her students didn’t. They have been in the process of replenishing their stock. That is where we must come in.
There is a lot more to this story, but I would like to make an appeal for donations for these children.
I saw on TV the other morning that the U.S. was launching a rocket at the cost of $425 million. There is no answer to this statement, but I will make it anyway. If we can pay $425 million dollars for a rocket, how can children be going hungry? Oh well, that is a rhetorical question, so don’t give me an answer.
Please, let’s donate to this great need. Griffiths can be called on her cell phone at (740) 935-5042, or at East High School.
I give thanks today for people like Hilary and her class members for taking the initiative to handle these needs. The least we can do is provide what she needs.
In Matthew 25:40 Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101 Ext. 232