The North Reading High School American Red Cross Club is collecting donations to fill 800 stockings for troops overseas as part of the American Red Cross Care Package Drive. Support the students and the troops by dropping items into any of their collection boxes around town.
NRHS student Nicholas Phillips learned about American Red Cross Clubs last spring through his cousin, who participates in the group at Reading Memorial High School. He thought NRHS should have a club like it, and decided to bring the idea to Principal Jon Bernard and the school committee this past fall. The club was approved and Phillips worked on getting new members.
The club now has more than 40 members, who are extremely hard working, Phillips said.
“People were very happy to join and really wanted to take action and participate in the events," he said.
The group can choose to hold events that the Red Cross suggests, or come up with ideas on their own. The care package drive is something the Red Cross suggested and the club was more than happy to participate.
The group has placed donation boxes at Walmart, CVS, the post office and other locations around town. They are looking for items "that we take for granted," including snacks like beef jerky, chex mix, granola and dried fruit; toiletries; batteries; entertainment items like DVD's, Xbox games and PS2 games; dog items such as Science Diet dry dog food and packaged non-perishable treats; linens and more. There is a list of possible donation items in every donation box.
Last week the club had a table outside of Walmart to collect donations. Residents donated enough to fill 400 stockings, which was phenomenal, Phillips said. They also received $1,000 in cash donations, which they will use this weekend to buy more items for the stockings.
"The community as a whole has been amazing," Phillips said.
He is also impressed by the hardworking students in his group.
“That is something I admire, that you don’t see too often in a student body," he told Patch.