“Be awesome today.”
Three simple, yet powerful words Dr. Letoni Murry ends with every single morning as he wraps up the daily announcements at Stewarts Creek Middle School.
“It's another way of saying, all we have is today and let's make the most of what we have,” Murry explained. “We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, so we take advantage of that day and try to be as awesome as we can.”
Schools were recently closed on November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.
As a way being awesome, recognizing a trio of veterans on staff at the school and helping a local community partner — www.feedthechildren.org — Murry decided to make it a day of service. More than 100 volunteers — administrators, faculty, staff, students and even parents — volunteered their time as way of saying thank you for their own blessings.
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“We wanted to overwhelm them with The Creek,” said Murry, who also noted volunteers from John Colemon and Wilson Elementary schools and Smyrna Middle were there for a three-hour session from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Beta Club from Rock Springs Middle regularly volunteers their time at Feed the Children.
Everyone was divided into teams to assemble and prepare personal care, food and Avon products for distribution.
More than 880 personal care boxes totally 14,960 pounds were prepared by the Stewarts Creek volunteers along with 520 individual food boxes totaling another 13,000 pounds of food were also prepared, according to Feed the Children. The boxes will be given to children and families throughout the southeast
“Makes you feel good when that many people show up,” Murry said.
In the week prior, Stewarts Creek Middle held a Thanksgiving food drive sponsored by the Family, Career & Community Leaders of America club, in which they collected more than twice their goal of 2,000 items — having donated 4,101 items to the Smyrna Nourish Food Bank.
FCCLA partnered with Apex Moving + Storage in their Move for Hunger initiative.
Apex provided all the boxes for shipping, delivered the items to Smyrna Nourish Food Bank and provided $300 worth of Amazon gift cards which were awarded to the top three teachers for the most Thanksgiving food items.
The first-place card worth $150 went to Jennifer Johnson, who collected 1,250 items. Second place went to Courtney Thornsberry (1,038) and third place went to Allen Kessinger (245). Thornsberry received $100 gift card, while Kessinger received $50.
“I think that resonates with kids and with our adults here,” Murry concluded, “and it proves our culture and our climate that we've been building and what we have here at The Creek.”