Students at Westview Freedom Academy have filled 30 bins with canned goods, clothing and personal hygiene products — and it only took them about two weeks to collect enough items to make it happen.
The student-led initiative asked for community donations, went door-to-door in west Windsor and ran a can drive at the school to fill the bins, which will go to students and their families who need the extra help.
"I wanted to get involved in the community effort because thinking about yourself and doing something good for yourself is easy, but for doing it for the community .. it's hard work and effort and struggle," said Grade 12 student Bisma Sheraz.
"At the end you feel so proud and inspired and you feel so even relaxed too that you did something for someone else, not just for yourself."
Students collected more than 500 cans per class as part of their food drive.
Grade 12 student Vanessa Archer said it's not something she'd normally think about as a teenager.
"You already have this or you feel like 'Oh Christmas is coming,' but there's other students out there who are not able to afford gifts," said Archer, adding she was proud of her fellow classmates for making it happen.
The students who will receive the bins were identified by faculty at Westview Freedom Academy. They'll remain anonymous so that other students don't know who they are.
"I asked staff who they thought were most needy within the school," said Darcie Alfini, the physical education teacher at Westview who helped the Grade 12 students put the baskets together.
"Donations just came piling in."
In addition to the 30 bins, the students also put together 10 care packages that hold mostly food for students with less need.
Alfini said families who have picked up their bins are incredibly grateful.