By Eunice Kim
Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) held its annual Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) drive from November 6 to 17.Granada Hills Charter High School (GHC) held its annual Meet Each Need with Dignity (MEND) drive from November 6 to 17.
The Associated Student Body (ASB) worked with MEND to collect cans and nonperishable goods in second period classes to help individuals and families suffering from poverty. After collecting student and staff donations, ASB sent them to MEND for the holiday season.
To encourage participation, ASB members publicized the event. Senior delegate and co-chair of the MEND drive PamelaThea Greganda worked with her fellow ASB members to create posters which they hung around campus, while the ASB online publicity committee made online posts.
As an extra incentive, the two classes who brought in the most cans or non-perishable goods won a pizza party.“The drive went as smoothly as it could possibly could. The ASB class worked efficiently, and we worked closely with the MEND organization to make sure we had everything we needed to ensure the success of the drive,” Greganda said.
This year, the MEND drive collected 1,800 cans, which will go towards MEND’s Emergency Food Bank. It is the largest food bank in Los Angeles and one of the largest in the state of California. It provides direct distribution to clients in need. Much of the food is distributed to more than 60 smaller pantries and charities annually in the area that also care for low-income individuals, according to the MEND website.
“I think it’s very important for us to donate whatever we can because we can be changing the lives of many. Any time we are given the opportunity to help, I think we should take it,” junior and ASB Senator Blossom Madumere said.
MEND is a nonprofit organization that was founded in the early 1970s by a group of volunteers led by Ed and Carolyn Rose. It stemmed from the desire to change the lives of those in need within the northeast San Fernando Valley.
Since its humble origins, having begun with a small group of volunteers, it has grown to become one of the largest non-profit poverty agencies in the Valley.
The versatile program provides care through emergency food, clothing, medical care, homeless services, and job skills training. School participation in MEND initiatives have also played an important role in informing people about the organization and giving students the opportunity to give back.
“I planned on spending some savings money on cans. Even though this seems small, it does build up. This is an example of how a little effort here and there goes a long way,” sophomore Emily Kumagai, co-chair of this year’s MEND drive, said.