||Ocosta High School|
Season of Giving
Across the country, millions of people go hungry each year. In 2015, for example, 42 million people lived in households where food was not guaranteed to be provided every day.
At Ocosta, we decided that we wanted to do something to help change that number and move it in the proper direction. For the past few years, we have joined with our rival school (North Beach) in a competition dubbed Food Ball. The goal of the competition is to raise as much money and food in a certain amount of time as you can, through whatever means necessary (all legal of course). At the end of the competition, whoever has raised the most donations is declared the victor and gets to have a sign supporting the winning school hung in the loser’s gym.
With Ocosta having emerged victorious in seven out of the past eight years, it has become somewhat of a tradition to walk into North Beach’s gym and see the “We love Ocosta” sign hung on the wall. This year however, it did not appear to be as much of a guaranteed win as it had been in years past. Panic began to set in when, at the halfway point of the four week competition, the totals were counted and Ocosta was approximately one thousand pounds behind. We quickly realized we were going to have to step our game up if we were to continue our run of dominance in this cross-harbor rivalry.
We totally revamped our system, which up until that point had consisted of putting cans in businesses around the community and simply asking people to donate. We conducted take-overs of local businesses, organized class competitions, and had an assembly that auctioned off teachers to be pie-d in the face, to name a few of our fundraisers. Thanks to these activities, as well as the hard work of a few key individuals, we quadrupled the amount of donations we had brought in! At the end of the competition, after all the food had been weighed, and all the money counted, we had brought in over five thousand pounds worth of food (one dollar is worth two pounds of food, for competition purposes).
While this was a very nice total and one we were very happy with, there was no guarantee it would be enough to deliver our school a win. As we met with the ASB of North Beach to exchange figures, we held our breath in anticipation, hoping to keep the streak alive for another year. As the numbers came in, it was clear: Ocosta would emerge victorious for another year! North Beach’s total came out to be a few hundred pounds less than ours. Together we raised almost ten thousand pounds for our local food banks, enough to ensure that people would be able to stay fed in the cold months ahead.
Coming away with a win was nice, but everyone involved can agree that the real prize was being able to help our community in a way that can touch the lives of so many people, those who both give the food and receive it.