10 Days of Giving

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Students in District 833 schools collected over 21,000 items for "10 Days of Giving," the annual charity drive sponsored by Merchants Bank and run in conjunction with last week's Canadian Pacific Holiday Train whistle stop in Cottage Grove.

Students collected 15,253 paper towels, shampoo, toothpaste, soap and cash for the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park and raised $181.The items were packed in large cardboard boxes, which were picked up Dec. 13.

The pick-up crew included Chris Barbey of Werner Electric, Lucas Steinbach of the Cottage Grove Parks and Recreation Department and Randy Bachman, branch manager and personal banking officer at Merchants Bank in Cottage Grove.

In addition, over 6,000 items were collected by students at Woodbury schools for the Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf at the northern end of the district. This was the first year they were included in the 10 Days of Giving campaign. Bachman said he was tipped by Cheryl Jogger, a Woodbury parent and anti-hunger activist, about Christian Cupboard and their mission.

"We've always specifically worked with the Friends in Need Food Shelf strictly because geographically, that was the only food shelf,' Bachman said. "Because the school district is so large, we didn't even think about the northern schools."

Participating schools included East Ridge High School, Cottage Grove Elementary, District Service Center, Transportation Department, Pine Hill Elementary and Pullman Elementary, Red Rock Elementary Middleton Elementary, Bailey Elementary, Royal Oaks Elementary, Woodbury Elementary, Woodbury Middle School and Woodbury High School.

Staff at the District 833 Program Center, District Service Center and Transportation Department also participated.