POLACCA, Ariz. - The Hopi High School National Honor Society's (NHS) annual food drive is underway along with the Hopi High Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps' (JROTC) annual toy drive.
Hopi High's NHS food drive began Nov. 26. The food will be delivered Dec. 19-20.
NHS Advisor Lavonne Adams said the NHS students raised more than $3,000 from sales at basketball games in order to buy 200 turkeys - the same amount as last year. The students are collecting canned goods and other non-perishable food to go with the turkeys for the donated dinners for the elderly.
Boxes are located at the high school and throughout stores in the community for people to donate. During the past two home basketball games, spectators donated two non-perishable food items in exchange for a bag of popcorn. Adams said NHS has put on the drive for the last couple of years and it has been a popular program. The students collected food during the Dec. 10 and Dec. 16 home basketball games.
There are 10 students in NHS this year. Adams said they have all been working hard for the food drive. The food for the seniors will be delivered from Keams Canyon to Hotevilla and some of the students will bring the donations to the Navajo communities that support Hopi High School.
"It's great seeing the kids put so much effort into the project and how gratified they are to interact with the elderly," Adams said. "It's a big surprise to the elderly because they don't know we're coming."
The donations are made from lists NHS gets from the tribe and some donations are made at random.
Adams rewards the NHS students by taking them out to lunch at the cultural center.
The officers are President Kiera Beaudette, Co-Vice Presidents Jennifer "Jennee" Lomayaktewa and Blake Sekaquaptewa, Treasurer Simone Saufkie, Secretary Sharon Mariano and Historian Ryesa Howato.
Adams said she thanks her assistant Eva Bahnimptewa for always helping out and she thanks the school for supporting the NHS programs.
The Hopi High JROTC's toy drive began Nov. 25 and ended Dec. 13.
The Hopi High JROTC cadets will deliver the toys to Hotevilla-Bacavi, Hopi Day School, Keams Canyon Boarding School and First Mesa Elementary School. Those schools will select the most deserving students. Cadet Theo Ross will play Santa.
The 12 cadets in the leadership positions planned the toy drive and will distribute the toys, but all cadets planned on donating toys.
Hopi High JROTC instructor Major James Cox said last year they were able to give toys to about 50 youth and they will have about the same amount this year.
"It's a good program because it gives us ties to the community," he said. "Cadets love getting out there and giving toys to younger kids."
Cox said the toy drive could be improved if the cadets start on it earlier in the year.
"We get into the Christmas rush and all the activities begin," he said.
More information about the food drive is available from the Hopi High School office at (928) 738-5111.