By Morgan Miller
Opinion and Entertainment Editor
Every year, Pearce’s Student Government hosts a toy drive to benefit underprivileged elementary-age children who attend Carolyn Bukhair Elementary and RISD Academy with the goal of giving them hope in the midst of the potential economic difficulties their families may be facing.
This year, the toy drive ran from Nov. 18 to Dec. 6. Last year, Pearce students were able to collect 645 toys for disadvantaged children, and this year, Student Government sponsor Sarah Anderson hopes that Pearce will reflect the giving spirit of the holiday season by donating even more.
“The goal (of the toy drive) is to show our Mustang holiday spirit by reaching out to Carolyn E. Bukhair Elementary and RISD Academy and making sure they feel loved and supported during the holidays,” Ms. Anderson said.
One Pearce student, who prefers to remain anonymous, attended RISD Academy several years ago for elementary school and received toys from Pearce’s previous toy drives.
“I honestly didn’t know where (the toys) came from, but I felt very grateful with the people that gave us everything, since back then we weren’t so stable with money,” the anonymous student said.
The percentage of students who receive free or discounted lunch is a good indicator of how many economically disadvantaged students attend a school. At RISD Academy, approximately 93 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch, and at Carolyn Bukhair, that number is even higher–around 95 percent. By contrast, at Brentfield Elementary, only about 5 percent of students receive free or reduced lunch.
Junior Samantha Fisher, a Student Government representative, gets a front-row seat to the thrill that these children get when they discover that they will get a present this year.
“They are sometimes a little shy when they first come out, but once they start to look around, they get so happy and smiley,” Samantha said.
The lives of families at RISD Academy and Carolyn Bukhair are often not easy, but Pearce’s toy drive has the opportunity to fill their lives with just a little bit more joy.