The Gift of Giving Back isn't about to let COVID-19 change their mission

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 29th, 2020



Each year a Burlington high school is chosen as the collection point for the annual Gift of Giving Back (GGB).

Girls placing food in bins

Students placing food in the bins during the annual Gift of Giving Back event

One a specific day high school students from around the city drive up to the school with food that will get distributed to the food banks and organizations that take care of those who need help.

It’s an annual thing – they’ve been doing it for ten years.

But 2020 has not been kind to very many people.

The traditional format for the event has had to change.

Jean Longfield

Jean Longfield keeping a secret

Jean Longfield and her team have been working through some ideas and will talk to the citizens of the city early in December about how the GGB is going to do what they have been doing this years – collecting food.

Longfield has been pretty tight lipped about the plans. All we know is that the how part is going to be different.

This is the time of year that the City of Burlington raises the Gift of Giving Back flag at city hall to kick off a time of giving, teamwork and volunteering. The flag will still go up, of course.

Each year in the past, three gymnasiums at the chosen school are filled with metal bins that get put in place with a fork lift truck that takes them out the next day and puts them on transport trucks and taken to a distribution center where it is then distributed to the Food Bank, the Compassion Society, Food4Life, Salvation Army and the Women’s shelter.

What is equally impressive is the involvement of the students – they troop in with cases of juice, canned goods, toiletries – you name it – they bring it on.

Kavanaugh puttng up the totals

Kavanaugh putting up the totals.

It is run in part as a competitive event with what the students bring in weighed and then tallied on a blackboard for all to see.
Many of the students who took part in the collection side of the event also make the time to work as volunteers in some of the food distribution organizations.

Due to COVID-19, some people having to self-quarantine for 14 days, needed support in getting food. The Food Bank was delivering food parcels to those who couldn’t leave the house.

Something is coming in early December and it will be a GIFT to the whole community.

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