Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Helping People One Can at a Time

Posted 11/10/2015 by Jalyssa Vigil

photo courtesy of Jerry Esparza

SkillsUSA holds their annual canned food drive for families in need.

In order to share the holiday spirit and help local families in need, TJ’s SkillsUSA chapter hosts an annual food drive which takes place every November. Their mission is to provide a home cooked meal to those in need within the TJ community, ensuring those families have a brighter Thanksgiving.

SkillsUSA is a student based group designed to face situations found in the work field. The club members compete in statewide competitions that show off Web Design, 3D Animation, Video and Photography. In addition to competing, members create service projects to help those in need. The chapter is lead by CCT Magnet teacher and advisor Jerry Esparza, who is there to assist his students in their service projects. The members of SkillsUSA have created the food drive to help those that are in the TJ community. To make the event as successful as possible, senior officer Katelin Kelly, and junior officers Tyler Weiskopf, Alex Sor, Asianae Jackson, and Helena Lawrence have placed boxes in every classroom at TJ to ensure they get as many non-perishable food items as they possibly can. “The food drive the last few years has been a great success. TJ students and TJ Partners have all been a part of this food drive. We hope that we continue the tradition to reach out to help others in need,” said Esparza.

To donate, students should take all canned food or monetary donations to their first period class. The last day to donate is Friday, November 13. Students who donate not only help provide for the TJ families, but are also eligible to win an ice cream party, which will be awarded to the class with the most cans collected.

Although many are fortunate enough to not have significant needs during the holidays, there are those who rely solely on this event as a food source during the holiday season. TJ hosts many events that help the community as much as possible, and this project is one of many where students exemplify their true Spartan character through teamwork and giving back to their community. The head of public relations for SkillsUSA, junior Rachel Sadler said, “I chose to take part in the food drive because it is a perfect opportunity to give back to our community and the TJ families who have supported us.” With the leadership of SkillsUSA, the Spartan community has fed multiple families at TJ in the past and they hope to continue providing for more in the future.