Clay High School's Mad Dash drive Monday night

By: Michael Lewis Email
By: Michael Lewis Email

South Bend, Ind. For 35 consecutive years, Clay high school students have run around the Michiana area during their annual Mad Dash food drive.

Since 1978, students have reached their hands to the community, literally.

Students travel to a number of neighborhoods and go from door to door asking for food or monetary donations.

It's an annual tradition and spirited competition that many students participate in.

Student Council volunteer Sydney Tobolski said "It's just like Thanksgiving. People should be thankful and it's a great time of year. You're donating anything you can. You're being really happy and jolly. It's a nice way to get people involved and you're helping people in your community that maybe you don't even know need help. "

A few years ago, Clay High School was the second largest student food drive in the nation and they are trying to keep that momentum.

Last year, students and volunteers collected nearly 77,000 non-perishable food and personal care items.

This year, there goal is to gather 115,000.

So far, the student board and volunteers estimate that they have collected around 35,000 to 38,000 donations, but that does not include any monetary donations.

School Board members know people receiving these essentials mean a lot, but it also means something special to them.

Co-Vice President Emma Osowski of the student board said, "We're giving back. We're caring about other people that others think no one cares about. Like it's only about me, me, me. Apparently it's not because we care about everyone else."

Volunteer Drake Shrader added, "There are people struggling to buy a can of food. So, the fact that we take this month and one specific day to go and get as much as we can and give back to the community is very humbling I would say."

Five hundred students dashed around town at this year's event and put in countless hours for the cause.

Although the Mad Dash event ended today, the food drive will continue until the end of the week.

Any food or personal care items are encouraged to be dropped at Clay High School.

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