NewsLocal NewsCuyahoga County


Cleveland high school friends help feed their community with grassroots food drive

2 friends start food drive for crisis center
Posted at 7:00 AM, Dec 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-08 14:36:01-05

The bright lights of the holidays can illuminate the need in our city, and if you think you can't make a difference, think again.

There's an impressive pair of young women who say: "Yes, you can!"

A food drive at Cleveland's Lincoln-West Science and Health High School just wrapped up.

"It's going really good," said Thalia Dachali.

She and her friend, Mari Pratts, are 10th-graders and started the effort.

It was a normal class assignment.

"They were supposed to practice making professional phone calls," said Kate Rapnicki, teacher.

However, Rapnicki said the pair went above and beyond.

"And called nearly every homeless and crisis center in greater Cleveland to figure out where the need was," she said.

They landed on the Redeemer Crisis Center. It is located just a couple blocks from their school. They learned the food supply there was running low. So, they took action.

 "We just feel like we gotta make a change," said Thalia.

They started a food drive; made signs and rallied their classmates and teachers to donate.

"Thank you," they exclaimed as a box of food was dropped off.

The young friends also volunteer one night a week at a local soup kitchen. They said the work is: "Heartbreaking," said Mari. "It's sad," added Thalia.

But they said they're left feeling fulfilled.

"Satisfying," said Mari. "It makes you feel good inside to know that you did something to help someone else."

They said volunteering runs in their family. They said their mom and grandmother inspire them to do better, and they hope they inspire you to help others too.

"Never take anything for granted because you just don't know how fast it may go away," said Mari.

The friends will deliver the food and help bundle it up for the crisis center, just before Christmas.