Educators at Rome Middle School (RMS) are always looking for ways to give back to their community. Not many community services are more important than feeding the hungry, and the Wolves found a perfect way to show their support for one of Rome and Floyd County’s essential non-profits.
Rome Middle School eighth grade history teacher, Kellie Wolfe, and the RMS student leadership team developed a way for all in their school to collect money for a worthy cause. Together, they were able to collect over $400 in cash and food items that were donated to the Rome-Floyd County Community Kitchen.
“Our leadership students plan some kind of service project every month,” Wolfe explained, “and an example of those projects is our recycling program. So, in December, we decided to organize a penny drive. They collected pennies every morning during the month of December and we cashed the change in at the end of the month. We then allowed them to decide what organization they would like to give the money to. Our children chose our Rome-Floyd Community Kitchen.”
Wolfe said that they raised 402 dollars from pennies donated by Rome Middle School students and educators.
“We were also able to donate food from our food pantry that was collected through Helping Hands Ending Hunger food program,” Wolfe said. “We wanted to roll that service project into this effort. That program is run by another one of our teachers, Ms. Stephanie Guyant.”
With the food and money Drew Taylor, Executive Director for the Rome-Floyd County Community Kitchen, said that their total donation would be helpful in feeding members of our community who need a hot meal and other services they offer.
“We have been open since 2009, and we feed anyone who walks in the door in need of a meal. We also offer showers and laundry services,” Taylor said. “Right now, we provide those services three days a week and we give two meals on those three days. So, we feed visitors a hot meal and we give them a sack lunch. What is amazing is that me and Shelia Watkins (kitchen manager) are our only two employees and the rest are community volunteers.”
Taylor said that the contributions from Rome Middle School will be put to good use and he had three words for the students and educators who put the program together, “Y’all are awesome.”
“The day I started working for the Rome-Floyd Community Kitchen, I said that I would never say no to a group of kids who would like to volunteer,” Taylor recalled. “Or, if they want to donate to our cause, I welcome it all. Their involvement with our program may be something that inspires them and ignites a passion for service in their hearts.”
“I am so proud of Rome Middle School,” said Dr. Christy Epps who serves as assistant principal. “And I am so proud of the work of Ms. Wolfe and her student leadership team. This project just shows how big of a heart Rome Middle School has and how we can share that love with our community.”
“I often ask children who volunteer, or donate, to our Community Kitchen if they know someone who has needed a meal, used our showers or used our laundry services,” said Taylor. “Several of them always raise their hands. When they give to us, they are giving back to friends, people they go to school with, people they have grown up with, or other connections they have made in their neighborhoods. For some, it may be their parents and they are helping them out. So, we always tell them this is their community helping their community.”