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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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High School Food Drive Helps Hopi Elders
by Stan Bindell for the Gallup Independent
credits: photo by Stan Bindell for the Gallup Independent

POLACCA, Ariz. — The Hopi High School National Honor Society delivered 140 turkeys and hams along with food boxes to the elderly to make sure they have something to eat during the holiday season.

Seventeen Hopi High National Honor Society students worked together to deliver the food up and down the mesas as they were greeted with smiles and warm words from the elders.

Kelly Keith, a 17-year-old senior, said she was worried that they wouldn’t get enough canned goods, but when people donated during a basketball scrimmage it ended up being a huge help toward the food drive.

“Everything went smoothly and I was honored to be a part of it,” she said. “It was so touching to see how the elders reacted when we gave them the food.”

Keith said some of the elders cried and others were purely thankful.

“It was an amazing feeling to touch their lives so simply and yet so deeply,” she said.

Keith said this program should continue because it is so successful and rewarding. She added that it represents everything that National Honor Society stands for.

“The best part was the feeling I had after I walked into my house after the food drive and felt like I had made a small difference in those people’s lives,” she said.

Keith said the program can be improved by raising more money so that they can buy more food for the elders in the future.

“The elders are such a special and important part of our community. They have given us so much. It is the right thing to do to give back to them as much as we can,” she said.

Keith said volunteering to help those in need shows the true character of humans.

Alyssa Begay, a 17-year-old senior, said the food drive was good because it was a way to give back to the community. She said it also helps teach responsibility.

Begay said the best part of the food drive was seeing the expression on the faces of the elders.

Latoya Rucker, a 17-year-old junior, said the food drive was fun and it made her feel good to see the smiles on the faces of the seniors.

“I didn’t expect them to start crying like most of them did,” Rucker said.

Rucker said the program needs to continue because it spreads cheer to the elders. She said the best part was delivering the food and going to the different communities.

She said the food drive can be improved if more people donate food and help out.

Matthew Mora, a 17-year-old senior, said the food drive is a good service for the elderly.

“I thought our food drive this year went really well. The people were very happy,” he said.

Mora said the elders were happy to receive the food and many were surprised that National Honor Society was doing this because they didn’t receive food previously. He said the program should be continued because it helps a lot of elders.

Mora agreed with his National Honor Society members that the best part was seeing the elders’ faces.

“Some of them cried because they were so astonished,” he said.

Mora said making the deliveries in two days instead of one might improve the food drive because they didn’t have the time to get to all the villages.

Mora said the food drive is important because the elders are not always recognized for the help they give others.
“This is our way of showing our appreciation to them,” he said.

Tate Jensen, a senior, said the food drive made her feel good because it was nice to see the elders receive the food. She said volunteering and providing food is important.

Nathania Silas, a senior, said seeing the elders reaction was warming and joyful. She said the best part of the food drive was helping the elders. She said the food drive is important because it’s a way of giving back to the community.

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