Teen Creates a Food Drive and Makes an Unlikely Friend

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Organizing a Food Drive

One of my friend’s sons has recently learned the importance of volunteer work. My friend told me an interesting story the other day about something that happened to his son Derek at school as a result of his volunteer work in setting up a food drive.

Derek was a great student. He made straight A’s in class and had a lot of friends at school. But there was one student named Robby that Derek couldn’t manage to get along with no matter how hard he tried. Robby was a boy in Derek’s class many considered to be a loner. He was often rude to Derek and others and kept to himself. Derek couldn’t quite figure Robby out, so he thought it best to leave him alone.

Derek loved to help others. One day, his school was asking for ideas of how to help out their community and Derek came up with the idea of having a food drive to help out families in their community in need. Derek’s principal thought it was a great idea and decided to let Derek be the head student in charge at organizing and distributing the food that was to be collected over the next 6 weeks.

Derek spent a lot of time after school for those 6 weeks organizing the food that had been donated by parents and students. Finally, the week before vacation, the food was ready to be distributed to the families.

Derek and a few other students were in charge of writing the names of families on cardboard boxes and filling the boxes up with appropriate food items the day before they were set to arrive to pick them up. Derek was surprised when he saw a familiar last name on the sheet of paper containing the names; but he shrugged it off, figuring there could be a lot of families with that last name in their community.

Food Drive…Giving Back

The next evening, the families showed up at the food drive. After an hour, Derek was just about done handing out food when he noticed Robby and his mother entered into the gymnasium where they were having the food drive. Robby and his mother came up to Derek; and that is when it dawned on Derek that Robby’s family was on the list he had seen the other day. Derek was surprised, because he had no idea that Robby’s family was in a rough spot. Derek began to sympathize with Robby and understand why Robby always appeared to be aggravated and kept to himself. Before that day, he had always assumed Robby just didn’t like to be bothered by other people, but the truth was, Robby just felt like no one could understand him or his situation. Robby and Derek talked for a bit as Derek handed his mother the box. It was the first time Derek had seen Robby in such a positive mood, eager to talk. Once they left, Derek headed home for vacation.

Things changed for Derek after vacation. Robby returned to school and was much more friendly and talkative with Derek. Robby told Derek he appreciated all of the work he had done to help he and the other families. Derek and Robby soon became good friends and have since spent a lot of time together, in fact, they have already begun working together on additional food drives to help more families in need.

Food drives are a great way to give back to the community. Everyone faces times in their life when they need help. Ask your parents, teachers, and community leaders how you can get a food drive started in your community.

  • How did Derek perceive Robby before the food drive?
  • Why did Derek’s opinion change of Robby after the food drive?

Finally, consider this important question…

  • How does a food drive benefit a community?
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