Our Lady of Victory Catholic School students carried seven large frozen turkeys onto a white school bus. They were ready to share them with people in need during the holiday season.

The school’s student council gathered food including canned goods and Thanksgiving classics like turkey, and they hand delivered the items to seven Victoria families on Nov. 25.

“Not every family has everything we do,” seventh-grader Connor Runge said. “We’re thankful for what we have.”

Connor, 12, and his peers loaded large reusable bags of food onto a school bus through the back door. They laughed and chatted as they passed bags to one another.

In his first year working with the student council, Connor said it has been a pleasant experience.

Our Lady of Victory student council has donated food to local families for the past 25 years, eighth-grade teacher Mary Rivera said.

The families are nominated to the school and later selected to receive the goods based on need, Rivera explained. The students then deliver the items to each family’s home.

The bags of food were lined in boxes ready to be delivered. Each bag had the families’ names on the front of the bags proclaiming “Merry Christmas.”

“Each family has a story,” Rivera said.

Student council raised money to purchase the turkeys during the Halloween season with “boo-grams.” Students bought the grams to be delivered to other students for $1, said eighth grader Vidhi Panchal, 14.

Vidhi said they also held a campus wide food drive for the dried goods.

The student council members went around to every classroom to collect the food and divided it between the families based on family size, she said.

“It feels good because we are giving back,” she said Nov. 25 between loading up bags into the school bus.

Vidhi said she looked forward to seeing the faces of the families when they deliver the food to them.

“You see how happy they are,” she said.

Eighth-grader Anna Claire Miori, 13, said she looks forward to this time of year because she enjoys giving back to the community through her school.

“It feels really good,” Anna Claire said. “I like giving.”

She remembers last year fondly when she delivered food to the families. All the families had smiles on their faces as they hugged each student and invited them inside to share their thanks.

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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