Fundraiser Aiding Arkansas Rice Depot, Local Families

Thursday, February 6, 2014
Student volunteers Haven Cagle and Kaylee Hartsfield show their support for the Arkansas Rice Depot's Adopt a School program which provides food to children in local schools and across the state.

Hunger, especially among children, is an ongoing problem in Arkansas. Through its Food for Kids program, the Arkansas Rice Depot provides nutritional food to over 35,000 young students throughout the state, including local schools. This food is discreetly sent home with students in backpacks, allowing the young recipients to share the sustenance with siblings and their family.

Wanting to give back to the Rice Depot, Rector Elementary has taken part in the Adopt a School fundraiser in recent years, collecting monetary donations to further the effort to feed children throughout Arkansas. As part of the Adopt a School program, donors are able to purchase colorful "bricks" which comprised the construction a schoolhouse on a large poster displayed in the RES hallway. Each brick sold features the name of a student, organization or loved one as chosen per donor.

"It's a great way to help kids here in our school and across all of Arkansas," RES secretary Michelle Hartsfield said. "This is a way to give back to something that has been such a wonderful help here in our community."

Hartsfield spends several hours of her own time gathering food, identifying needs and filling quietly distributing the backpacks. She is often assisted by others faculty and school employees, as well as some special student volunteers. Hartsfield's daughter, Kaylee, and Haven Cagle, both seniors at RHS, are also caring helpers who have been there to assist. The caring teens recently collected funds from their respective families, in order to purchase bricks and support the remarkable program.

"It's a really good cause," Kaylee Hartsfield said. "We wanted to help, and we hope others do, too."

"Every little bit helps," Cagle said. "We hope to see these bricks fill up."

"And keep filling these backpacks," Kaylee Hartsfield added.

Persons interested in donating to the Adopt a School program are invited to visit the Rector Elementary office during regular school hours of operating. Support for the program is accepted year-round.

"I want to encourage everyone who is able to support this," Michelle Hartsfield said. "This program helps 10 t0 20 families in our community every week. It really is something special."

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