Whiteoak’s day of giving back


The Mowrystown FFA is organizing a Day of Giving event during the school day Tuesday before school closes for Christmas break.

The FFA is seeking donated items to help support the event. It will be collecting donations until Monday, Dec. 19. Items needed include winter gloves and toboggans, word find books and coloring books, old jeans and thick fabric clothing, small teddy bears, Play-Doh, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hair brushes and combs, deodorant and mini lotions, stress balls and fidget toys, crackers, canned food, snack cakes, and crayons and colored pencils.

Whiteoak High School and Whiteoak Middle School have been participating in the event since 2018.

“My FFA officers were talking, and they came up with the idea,” said Whiteoak FFA Advisor Brian DeAtley. “Traditionally, the day before Christmas break there were class parties or they would watch movies or different things, so the officer group actually decided to turn it into something where we actually give back to the community.”

DeAtley said the event is an extension of the giving nature of the local community. “We live in a community that if we ask for something the support is always there, so this is a chance that we can give something back to the community – plus anytime you instill that in kids, especially at a young age, they realize that a giving heart is important,” he said.

Every student in the high school and middle school will participate in the event. “We actually have it set up in rotations, so the first rotation they may make tie blankets and the second rotation they may make Christmas cards for the nursing homes, but every teacher and every student is involved,” said DeAtley.

DeAtley said each teacher picks their own activities for the event. “The FFA organizes it, but every staff member is involved,” he said. “We’ll be making diaper cakes for the Southern Ohio Pregnancy Center, taking tie blankets to several different nursing homes, and we’re doing goodie bags for people that can’t get out and about as easy.”

The FFA chapter also coordinates a food drive in December. “We actually pack up the food boxes and we send them home with students,” said DeAtley. “Maybe the kid needs it or maybe they have a neighbor that needs it, we don’t ask questions. We just want to help where we can.”

DeAtley said the event is the school’s way of giving back. “It seems like — and I’m sure you’ve seen — every school organization is always doing a fundraiser and doing this or asking for that, and this is just a way Whiteoak High School gives back something to groups that we can.”

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

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