#kindness1billion: OC students and schools celebrated the season of giving with food drives

HBCSD Smith Elementary School's Thanksgiving food drive
Smith Elementary School donated canned goods and meal staples to Robyne’s Nest, an organization that supports at-promise students who are navigating life with little to no parental support. (Courtesy of the Huntington Beach City School District)

In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving break, many schools and districts across Orange County organized food drives to help families in need feel a sense of warmth and hope.

Some districts conducted schoolwide drives that were led by administrators and staff, while others were organized by students who empowered their peers to spread kindness together.

The Orange County Department of Education and County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares created the One Billion Acts of Kindness campaign in 2016 to encourage educators, students and their families to document and submit their kind acts online. They did this with the hope of promoting a great sense of civility, character and positive school climates. 

To date, more than 14.8 million acts have been logged with the #Kindness1Billion initiative.

Those acts include student senate members from Smith Elementary in the Huntington Beach City School District, who assembled a collection event where they gathered a “mountain of canned goods and dry essentials” to support Robyne’s Nest. The organization provides at-promise students who are experiencing homelessness with resources to complete high school and pursue a path to self-sufficiency. 

Nearby, students attending Seacliff and Moffett elementary schools and Sowers Middle School expressed their generosity by collecting more than 5,500 pounds of pasta and sauce. The items were transported to Caterina’s Club, which services more than 25,000 warm nutritional meals to children in need each week in Orange County and surrounding areas. 

These campuses and students were not alone in their mission. The OCDE Newsroom has compiled a collection of social media posts depicting acts of kindness that schools and districts shared with their communities this month.

Don’t forget to log your kind acts on the kindness1billion.org website, or download our free app for iOS and Android devices. For more on kindness, check out these stories we’ve shared on the OCDE Newsroom, including the “Exploring Kindness” episode of The Deeper Learning Podcast, hosted by Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares.