Can do attitude: Planoettes host holiday canned food drive

Cameron Drummond, Sports Writer

A holiday tradition for the Planoettes held true again this year as they hosted a canned food drive in their name from Nov. 17 to Dec. 3, with fourth period classes banding together to donate as many cans as possible.

The drive, organized by the Planoettes for the fourth consecutive year, donates all canned goods to the Plano Santas’ warehouse and offers Planoettes like junior lieutenant Ariel Fuchs an opportunity to directly give back to the community.

“It’s good to know that I can give back and help be part of an opportunity that is huge and so meaningful for other people,” Fuchs said. “Knowing that my work and support helps provide meals for families and is so impactful in their lives makes me feel amazing.”

The Planoettes participate in multiple philanthropic events each year in addition to the canned food drive.

“It feels good to see the progress of this drive that the Planoettes have organized,” Fuchs said. “The Planoettes have put in a lot of effort towards this drive.”

Fuchs, an officer candidate for drill team for her upcoming senior year, was given a leading role in organizing and overseeing this year’s drive.

“I took part by advertising the canned food drive to students during their fourth period classes, making posters around school, bringing in cans as a donation, and helping to get Student Congress involved in the drive,” Fuchs said. “Once the drive is over, I will be delivering all donated cans to the Plano Santas’ warehouse as well.”

Planoette director Meredith Walraven first began the canned food drive as a way to teach her team about the importance of helping out the surrounding community.

Boxes full of cans like these will be heading to the Plano Santas' warehouse after the canned food drive concludes. "We want to give back to the community and support our school," Fuchs said. "I'm looking forward to helping out our school and community."  Photo submitted by Ariel Fuchs.
Boxes full of cans like these will be heading to the Plano Santas’ warehouse after the canned food drive concludes. “We want to give back to the community and support our school,” Fuchs said. “I’m looking forward to helping out our school and community.”
Photo submitted by Ariel Fuchs.

“In 2011, I wanted the team to be involved in giving back to our community and our school received an email about the Plano Santas’ food drive,” Walraven said. “The email encouraged schools to get involved so we started hosting it for Plano Senior.”

Walraven and her group of Planoettes will hope for increased donation numbers during this year’s drive after a sharp decline in the number of cans raised last year.

“In 2012 we collected 6,305 cans and in 2013 we collected 1,445, a pretty big difference,” Walraven said. “I was on maternity leave last year but I’m not sure if that had something to do with it or if it was just a lack of effort from the classes. Our team collected a lot less as well so it wasn’t just the school.”

Despite the slide in donations last year, Walraven looks to the Planoettes’ partnership with the school orchestra as an example of sustained success for the drive.

“The orchestra has always allowed their concert goers to be admitted with canned goods and during the second year of our drive the orchestra director Mr. Coatney asked if we would like them to donate all of those cans to our efforts,” Walraven said. “The extra donations courtesy of the orchestra have helped our numbers.”

Fuchs and her fellow Planoettes have continued to campaign tirelessly in hopes of gathering cans for those in need.

“Planoettes take a huge part in collecting the cans because we want Plano Senior to be the top collecting school in PISD,” Fuchs said. “I have seen a lot of dedication from the students and this shows how we all want to give to those who need it most.”

Although the fourth period class that raises the most can donations will receive candy as a prize, Walraven said she thinks incentives are not necessary in order to feel the need to donate.

“I believe that everyone should donate out of the goodness of their hearts,” Walraven said. “We live in a great community and this is the least we as a student body and school could do for our community that continuously supports us.”

Ultimately, Walraven and the Planoettes hope to inspire a legacy of giving back through the canned food drive.

“Everyone has to give because they want to, not to earn something in the end,” Walraven said. “We must all do our part to help one another in times of need. You never know when you may be the one in need.”