Foster Students at Together We Cope
Gordon Collins of Tinley Park, volunteer at Together We Cope’s food pantry in Tinley Park, shows first graders from Foster School in Oak Forest some “birthday boxes” donated to the pantry. The boxes contain all the ingredients needed to throw a birthday party for a child, including cake mix and cake pan, frosting, tableware, party bags and favors.First graders from Oak Forest’s Lee R. Foster Elementary School visited Together We Cope recently as a prize for collecting the most food in a school-wide drive this spring.
Teacher Alison O’Connor’s first-grade class donated hundreds of items during the campaign, which resulted in a total of 2,117 items collected by the school’s students and staff. As winners of the drive, the first graders took a field trip to Together We Cope in Tinley Park to tour its food pantry and learn about the various services the agency provides to area residents.
Pantry director Carol Ettema, volunteer coordinator Cate Dietz and TWC volunteers showed the children around the food pantry and talked about how it serves families in the community. The 23 first graders eyed the shelves of food in awe and eagerly asked questions about the pantry’s services. “This is like a big grocery store,” one child said.
Foster social worker Libby Tiffy chose Together We Cope as the school’s community service partner for this year because of the impact the agency has on people in the community. “It was great to collect food for Together We Cope so they can continue to provide their services,” she said.
TWC’s Dietz said, “I was humbled by the amount of items brought in by Foster Elementary staff and students. We really enjoyed having them visit the food pantry. They were a lot of fun.”