Cadets support community

Mon, 12/31/2007 - 9:27am
By: The Citizen

Cadets support community

Cadets from the Sandy Creek High Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) program have volunteered their time to support many area community services. The most recent effort was the AFJROTC annual canned food drive. Each fall cadets get the entire Sandy Creek student body involved in donating food for local needs. Over the past several years the donations have helped the Real Life Center.

The Real Life Center is designed to walk alongside families in the area that are going through a difficult time. They work with each family for up to a one-year period, offering counseling, financial assistance, mentoring, clothing, career help and of course the food pantry. All the support is designed to make a real change in their lives. The purpose of the organization is to offer a “hand-up” rather than a “hand out” and benefits families from all walks of life. Divorce, death, health issues and unexpected job loss are just a few of the issues that can affect anyone.

Each year since 2004, this food drive has collected over 5,000 cans used to stock the Real Life Center pantry. Last year the effort expanded to include Flat Rock Middle School and the total collection exceeded 11,000 cans. Flat Rock and Sandy Creek worked together again this year to ensure that all of the donations were delivered to the Real Life Center.

“This year more than ever we relied on the AFJROTC cadets and Sandy Creek High School to help us stock our pantry and they came through for us again,” said Vicki Troyer, Real Life Center food drive and volunteer coordinator.

Cadets facilitate the program by making video announcements at school, collecting cans from each classroom, counting the items, boxing up the food and loading up the truck for delivery. A friendly competition was held among classes for the most cans collected. This year’s winner was Donna Schwitz’s math class, which received a pizza party.

In addition to the food drive effort, the Sandy Creek AFJROTC cadets have provided over 800 hours of community service so far this school year. They supported the Veterans Day parade in downtown Atlanta, provided three color guard performances for Veterans Day celebrations, visited veterans at two assisted living facilities, participated in the Tyrone Founders Day parade, led the parade in Brooks honoring local veterans, marched in the Red Ribbon parade at Sara Harp Minter Elementary and opened the United States Air Force Tops in Blue concert at Starr’s Mill High School with a color guard performance.

“These exceptional young cadets receive praise everywhere they go and have done so much in representing our program and the school in such a positive way,” said AFJROTC Senior Aerospace Science Instructor Colonel Doug Pearson.

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