The Ashland Beacon
Touched by the possibility that students in her town might not have enough to eat over the holiday break, Fairview High School sophomore Gracie Newman decided to take action.
“We were having a food drive at school, and our teachers said the food would go to families who would struggle over the holidays,” she said. “I didn’t know how many kids rely on the dinner program.” The Fairview school system provides an evening meal for any child who wants it, in addition to the traditional school breakfasts and lunches.
“I felt such compassion and wanted to make sure everyone in need had food. So I contacted Send Relief and found a way to provide two meals a day for the 16 days of holiday break.” Gracie became aware of the Send Relief program last year. Send Relief, a nonprofit group that helps with disaster aid, hunger, human trafficking and other issues, has a hub in Ashland.
“I had the incredible opportunity to take part in the packing process last year,” the teen explained. “I got to see how it was all processed and packaged. Every package is prayed for during the packing and handing out process.” She thought Send Relief would be willing to provide additional food for Westwood families.
“My church helped me get connections to contact Send Relief, and the church helped with packing the food.” The Fairview High School Key Club was also involved with packing and delivering the meals. The Key Club sponsor is Corey Moore.
Send Relief provided meals consisting of macaroni and cheese, rice and beans, and tomato-based pasta meals. “I think we were able to help about 175 families. They’re getting nutritional meals, and I think it’s very, very cool to be able to provide that to them.”
Gracie said she intends to continue helping others. “This something I was passionate about, and I believe it’s something I’ll continue to be passionate about through my high school career.” The food packages were handed out on Friday before Christmas break began. “It was exciting to spread some cheer to people who might not otherwise be as cheerful as some of us are.”
She also said an anonymous donor contributed to the Key Club food drive through Westwood Christian Church to provide turkeys, eggs, milk, butter, candy and other groceries.
“I’m really passionate about spreading kindness and love to everyone we meet,” Gracie said. “I feel it’s really important to give that to the world. Everyone needs kindness and love.” Gracie is the daughter of Gary and Sonya Newman.