Student encourages “Unity in the Community”

Published 3:25 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Food for thought — what can one student do to change the world? Well, Picayune Memorial High School student, Jamison Dodd, came up with the idea of promoting a food drive to help local families who are struggling to put food on the table during these economically difficult times.

Dodd came up with the idea of promoting “Unity Within the Community” after attending an APEX Leadership Summit at the University of Mississippi at Oxford.

Dodd explained that his team was challenged during that summit to find an area in which they could make a difference in the world.

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“My leadership team came up with the idea of “Unity in the Community” which promoted community service as a way to reach others and hopefully deter vandalism,” wrote Dodd in a letter to PMHS teachers.

One of the ways he thought they could make strides toward unity was by holding a food drive to benefit Christian Care Ministries the same week as the Picayune vs. Pearl River Central football game.

Christian Care Ministries is a non-profit organization that provides emergency assistance and referral service to residents in Picayune and south Pearl River County.

Dodd has asked PMHS students to bring a non-perishable food item to school this week, offering to reward the class with the most items a breakfast party the following week.

But fans of both teams can get in on the “Unity in the Community” at the Friday night football game.

Dodd plans on having a collection box at the football game and residents attending the game can bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the cause.

Christian Care Ministries, which is located in Picayune, so far this year has distributed food to 1,,444 families — 1,268 children, 1,948 adults — and 348 elderly.

They also help with the purchase of approved medications, issue vouchers for clothing, and gas vouchers for out of town appointments.

The organization also has a food pantry available for qualified Pearl River County residents and deliver meals to the elderly and disabled within the county, based on a sliding scale.

In a letter to Dodd, Care Ministries representative Janet Teague said, “… thank you for enlisting your fellow students in the collection of non-perishable food items for our food bank… Due to the economy, many families in our country do not have enough to eat and your donation enables our organization to continue to provide food to those in need.”