Students provide for needy


HOWELL – They give back because they can.

Students in the Monmouth Academy Community Service Club prepared 10 Thanksgiving food baskets for needy Lakewood families last week, but they got back far more than they gave.

“This makes us feel so good. We really enjoy being able to give back to the community – to help others who are less fortunate than we are,” explained 12th-grader Melissa Roth of Jackson.

Fellow senior and club member Kyle Flannery of Lakewood agreed.

“We have so much extra in our own lives and we really want to help those who live around us who don’t,” Kyle said.

Thanksgiving goodies, including stuffing, canned vegetables, juice, cranberry sauce, cake and brownie mixes and more, were donated by students in both the middle and upper schools at Monmouth Academy. Teachers donated turkeys to complete the traditional holiday baskets which were donated to Under His Wing Inc., a Lakewood-based soup kitchen.

In addition to the food, many club members wrote Thanksgiving cards to share thoughts of togetherness. Their kind words are surely something extra the basket recipients can feel thankful for this holiday season.

Additionally, as part of a school-wide Thanksgiving celebration, all of the students in kindergarten through 12th grade held a holiday feast and donated extra food to the Macedonia Church soup kitchen in Lakewood.

These endeavors are part of an ongoing community outreach project to teach the students about the importance of “giving back,” said club adviser Mira Berkowitz.

“We are trying to teach the children about the importance of being sensitive to those who are less fortunate. This is all about instilling responsibility and making them feel a part of their community,” Berkowitz said.

It worked! All of the students agreed that participating in the food collection and basket preparation makes them feel good about themselves as community members.

“This project has made me really feel thankful for what I have,” said Mike Gincel, 11th grade, of Lakewood. “But more importantly, I feel very thankful for the opportunity to give back.”

Monmouth Academy, formerly Lakewood Prep, is located on Lanes Mill Road. It is an independent day school that educates kindergarten pupils through postgraduate students.