Putting pennies in the pantry

Lacey Longpre

Contributing writer

Pierce College Puyallup students raised $1,300 in donations for the local food bank My Sister’s Pantry.

Pierce College Puyallup students Leah Hall, Jennifer Martin and Lindsey Carter were assigned to take their skills from class and apply them to a project in Linda Saarela’s Principles of Management course during winter quarter.

The students collected donations from various businesses and Pierce College students.

“I was extremely surprised at how well the project turned out,” Carter said. “We had a goal of $100 each and ended up with $1,300 in donations.”

The idea of raising money for My Sister’s Pantry came from Hall’s work with the organization. She said a previous class with Saarela prompted her to work with My Sister’s Pantry.

“Her Management 186 class inspired me to reach out, and that’s how I got involved with My Sister’s Pantry,” Hall said. “I’ve been working there for six months.”

Martin said she learned about Hall’s connections to the food bank, and agreed to have it be the focus of the project. Her childhood gave her reasons as well to provide aid.

“Growing up, I lived off of welfare,” Martin said. “I’m more than willing to help.”

Carter said Hall was also the reason for her to join the project’s focus on My Sister’s Pantry.

“Leah got me into volunteering there, so that’s the one I jumped on,” Carter said.

My Sister’s Pantry is the eighth largest food bank in Tacoma, serving more than 1,000 families. It serves hot meals and supplies clothing and groceries.

Hall mentioned the heartfelt atmosphere when families gather around for a warm meal with the organization.

“When they serve, there’s a real air of respect…it feels like a family sit down,” Hall said.

The three students are now partnering with the North Tacoma Grocery Outlet to spend the money they raised to stock food on the shelves for My Sister’s Pantry.

As their project nears its end, Hall, Martin and Carter reflect on their experience and what they gained from it.

Hall found it helpful to apply skills gained through the course on a real-world situation.

“We’ve taken what we’ve learned and applied it to the process of the project, such as asking businesses for donations,” Hall said.

Martin discovered that when problems arose with the project, they found ways around it. She learned a task can be completed in multiple ways.

“In the business world, you can teach old dogs new tricks,” Martin said.

Carter said that having a strong team led their additional success.

“I think our group was able to succeed the way we did because we all shared the same vision and wanted to put our time and effort into something that was important to us,” Carter said.

She also recommends taking that Principles of Management course and commended Saarela’s guidance in helping her establish solid goals.

“Like is an understatement, love is more like it,” Carter said. “She (Saarela) helped me find my direction in business.”

Students interested in viewing the project’s tracked progression can go to their Facebook page at MySistersAngels2014.

“It’s not just about the money,” Hall said. “It’s about helping people and the community.”

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Putting pennies in the pantry

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