As November approached, CCHS began to plan for their annual Harvest Drive, which takes place during Thanksgiving season. CCHS has had to make some adjustments to their typical events as a result of the restrictions put in place by COVID-19.
The usual essential requests for canned goods are now accompanied by necessary toiletries, such as toilet paper and disinfecting wipes. CCHS is unable to host Publix collections, and instead must rely on students to drop off their items at school.
Collecting donations for Harvest Drive is an annual, school-wide effort that involves multiple clubs at CCHS including Key Club, Best Buddies and Interact Club. In an effort to aid the CCHS Harvest Drive, Interact Club organized the first annual Halloween Harvest Drive 5K virtually.
The goal for CCHS is to help at least 2,000 families with non-perishable items including gift cards for every family, and in order to accomplish this, this 5K event was created.
“My co-president Ellie Cohen and I wanted the Interact Club to contribute to the Harvest Drive while the coronavirus pandemic was happening in a safe and fun way.”Interact co-president Daphne Abdala
“My co-president Ellie Cohen and I wanted the Interact Club to contribute to the Harvest Drive while the coronavirus pandemic was happening in a safe and fun way,” Interact co-president Daphne Abdala said.
Similar to the popular elementary fundraiser Boosterthon, people participated by being a runner or sponsoring a runner. If they signed up to be a runner, there were two packages they could choose from in order to get a race number. One option included a t-shirt and a medal.
“I was so excited when I first heard that this event was going to be put on. I am a huge fan of races and I have run roughly 25 races within the past few years. I am always looking for new races that support great causes like the Harvest Drive,” English teacher Shauna Mogan said. “I was not able to run the race on Halloween, but I got up early November 1 to participate in the run. It went very well and [I] definitely hope they have more events like this in the future.”
When referring to this event as “virtual,” this didn’t mean through the computer. In a regular 5K run, all participants would run the same course. But due to the pandemic, each participant ran individually and reported how they did. Even though participants couldn’t run side by side, this gave the event flexibility so that anyone could have participated at any time.
“Hopefully, next year will be even bigger and better, especially if there’s no COVID-19 involved.”Exceptional Student Education Specialist Claudia Jones
“I would have loved to have run with everyone who signed up but unfortunately, I had to run it virtually alone. I feel Mr. Franzone [Interact Club sponsor] did an excellent job coordinating this event and that staff participation was wonderful for the first year,” Exceptional Student Education Specialist Claudia Jones said. “Hopefully, next year will be even bigger and better, especially if there’s no COVID-19 involved.”
COVID-19 has proven to make fundraising efforts for the Harvest Drive increasingly difficult, but it also called for creativity. This event received high regard from its participants and this may be a start of a new tradition for CCHS. CCHS continues to find ways to collect items for those in need.
Photo by Arielle Kraus