Suzanne Middle School students donate Halloween candy to Los Angeles Mission
WALNUT While many kids are bemoaning their barren trick or treating bags by this time of year, not so the students at Suzanne Middle School. They still have plenty of candy left two weeks after Halloween. But it is not for them. Trick or treating for charity is an annual tradition at Suzanne Middle School. Sparked by a school tour of the Los Angeles Mission about 15 years ago, stud raybans ents at the Walnut school have since been collecting their leftover Halloween candy to give away to the homeless and needy there. This year, the sixth through eighth grade students accumulated thousands of pieces of candy, bagged it and on Tuesday finally shipped it off to the Mission. “We ask them to trick or treat for charity, and they do,” teacher and event organizer Michelle Harmonsen said. Students collected 587 pounds of candy, which Los Angeles Mission officials will distribute at the annual Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration on Skid Row on Nov. 21. Close to 90 students members of the school’s CARE Club a community service group participated in the pack up event after school. Students have collected candy for the past 17 years under the direction of Harmonsen. They have dedicated their efforts solely to the Mission for the past 15 years. The amount of candy students have collected has been in decline for the past five or six years, Harmonsen said. “Each year we lose about 100 pounds and I think part of it is people are getting a lot less candy and now it’s more of a luxury item,” she said. “In good years we’ve been able to put together raybans 5,000 bags, but this year we’re close to 3,000 snack sized Ziploc bags,” added teacher and CARE Club advisor, Janice Crabb. Care Club President Jamie Chen, 13, has been part of the group for three years. “I like making sure everyone is treated the same, even if they don’t have the same amount of money,” raybans said Chen, who helped pack the Los Angeles Mission truck. The group’s next endeavor is collecting toys for Christmas for th raybans e McKinley Children’s Center in San Dimas. “I think it definitely gives them that attachment and connection to the school,” Crabb said.
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