The food drive at Greenwich high School dubbed “One-for-One on Nine-One-One,” brought in thousands of non perishable food items on Sept 11.
The effort was led by the Roots & Shoots and Heroes Clubs.
For 9th grade Innovation Lab students, the food drive dovetailed with their humanities classroom activities on Wednesday, the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City.
A total of 2,977 perished that day, including 33 with ties to Greenwich.
“I was born in 2005,” said Matilda Mancini. The terrorist attacks took place in 2001. “I think it’s really great we could help out this way. It’s a hard thing for everyone to talk about, so this brings the community closer.”
“We don’t have the memories. Our parents do,” said Emma Wilson. “That’s why its important for us to learn.”
Emma said her parents had shared her memories of exactly where they were the moment they learned of the terrorist attacks.
“My dad said he was at his house and a friend called and said, ‘Turn on the TV now,'” she said. “Everyone was stuck in their homes glued to the TV. And so many people were making phone calls that there were busy signals. People were stuck in the unknown.”
Emma said she was looking forward to seeing Come From Away, a musical set in the week following the September 11 attacks. It tells the true story of how 38 planes carrying 6,600 passengers were unexpectedly ordered to land in Canada and how the residents took in the strangers.
“We watched a few videos today to learn about it,” said Grace Nash. “It’s a good thing to commemorate those lost.”
Grace said a message she took away from class was not to dwell on regrets.
“A lot of people said ‘If only I had done this…’ or ‘I could have done that…’ to save a life. I want to remember it’s important never to regret anything you did in life,” she said.
Amalie Harpoth who was living in Denmark in 2001 said even in her home country she learned of the terrorist attacks. “Activities like this make me feel connected,” she said, gesturing to the stacks of milk crates full of boxes and cans.
The goal of the drive was to collect at least 2,977 non-perishable, non-expired food items, one in memory of each victim lost that fateful day, eighteen years ago.
Courtney Hawes, an Innovation Lab teachers said that last year the drive made its goal, but this year was different.
“A lot of teachers and staff helped us try to reach the goal. But right now we are short 620 items,” she said, looking disappointed.
By the end of the day the tally was 2,208 items, which will be donated to the food pantry at Neighbor-to-Neighbor.
Anyone who wants to drop off food items on Thursday to help the food drive reach its goal of 2,977 should make a donation directly to Neighbor to Neighbor.
“We are still so proud of the way our school community came together today,” said Ms. Mendez. “It proves that unity and love are some of the most powerful weapons in the world!”