Students within the Gahanna-Jefferson schools are donating to various charities this holiday season, including Gahanna Residents In Need.
A GRIN benefit concert will be performed by middle school and high school choir students at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, in the Gahanna Lincoln High School auditorium.
Food and/or monetary donations will be accepted to help the food pantry at Mifflin Presbyterian Church.
In addition to the benefit concert, Gahanna Middle School South recently raised more than $1,800 during a "Give to GRIN" drive.
"I'm absolutely stunned and thrilled by the giving nature of the GMSS community," principal Robin Murdock said. "Our children have a great understanding and heart in helping others, with the prize being simply in the act of giving."
Along with the cash donations, students collected 492 food items to donate to the pantry.
Gahanna Middle School East students recently saved their change at lunch and donated a little more than $700 to GRIN.
Sandy Weber, GRIN volunteer, said she couldn't even keep track of the number of food drives sponsored by the local schools.
"They just call and ask when to bring the food over," she said. "The student council from the high school brought in car loads. Sometimes we'll have the kids bring the food to the pantry to sort it and check expiration dates."
Weber said the pantry can't accept items that are outdated.
"We run low on protein items, like cans of tuna and chicken," she said.
The pantry distributed 55 food boxes for Thanksgiving, and 35 people received $50 gift certificates to Aldi. Another 10 to 12 meals were provided by Bob Evans, Weber said.
In addition to helping GRIN, students have been donating to other groups and causes, too.
Blacklick Elementary School fifth-graders who are part of Girl Scout Troop 1837 will deliver donated socks to seniors at the Sunrise Senior Center at Johnstown and Hamilton roads Dec. 12.
Parent and troop co-leader Melissa Sull said the community-service project is part of Socks for Seniors, a national program that was started in Columbus.
"Groups and organizations are encouraged to collect fuzzy and funky socks for seniors in their community," she said. "The idea is that socks are a fun and inexpensive way to give a meaningful gift to someone."
This is the second year the Blacklick troop has led the project.
"Our troop has been visiting this resident-care facility for six years to sing Christmas carols," Sull said. "Last year the residents were so surprised and delighted with our delivery, they told the Girl Scouts that they even liked to wear these socks on their hands in the winter."
As part of the sock collection, Blacklick first-graders from Troop 111 will host a sock hop in the school gym Friday, Dec. 6. The price of admission is one pair of socks.
G-J public-information manager Mallory Sribanditmongkol said Lincoln Elementary School is partnering with the local Max & Erma's to collect toys, toiletries and nonperishables for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. It serves families of seriously ill children by providing a home away from home at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House.
Sribanditmongkol said Jefferson Elementary School also just completed an Honor Flight fundraiser, collecting $1,450 to help send veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the war memorials.
High Point Elementary School also recently raised a similar amount for Honor Flight, she said.