Current Student Council President Will Simon has carried on Post’s motivational system: grades compete for the maximum hours fundraised instead of the highest dollar amount. Simon said, “We are ahead of the pace from last year. People are going to so many locations for lots of time.”
Freshman Class President Madeline Walker ’19 also recognized the importance of the hourly drive: “The competition is definitely a factor, since this is a competitive school. People are so dedicated to this cause. Don’t let this competition get too intense, but it definitely works as a persuader.”
“The Canned Food Drive has been different the past few years because we’re only using hours to decide the winner of the class competition. This means the winner will be based off a grade’s effort and not so much its earnings. The money does not always reflect a grade’s effort and this new system will help more accurately reflect the effort a grade puts in as a whole,” Student Council representative Damini Singh ’16 added.
Most Hopkins students were eager to make a difference, but had trouble finding the time to fundraise. “I like that it feeds so many more people. There is just a difficulty of getting people out to fundraise,” said Walker. “I get people to fundraise by being aggressive and assertive.”
One of the many reasons people fundraised during this time of year was to relieve stress from homework. “I think that it’s really good that we get to hang out with our friends while also helping a great cause. Especially for seniors, it’s a good way to relieve stress in the midst of the college app process,” said Student Council Representative Eric Kong ’16. Other students fundraised because, according to Simon, it is “legitimately fun [to interact] with classmates and strangers that you would never meet.”
Sometimes students were unable to fundraise because of scheduling issues or problems with locations. “The first step is locations; if we made them closer to a lot of people and they have easy access, it would be good. Some people would come out more if the locations were closer,” said Simon. Having the closer locations made a big difference. “It helps my motivation because it’s not a big deal for me to get to the location and I’m familiar with the area, and also I know a ton of people there so I can get people to come and fundraise or donate,” said Catey Lasersohn ’19.
Throughout the fundraising season, many events also raised as much money as the regular fundraising weekends. This included the Yule Ball and waffle sales during December. Two new events were added this year: Can Jam, (a winter a cappella concert), and the Haunted House, run jointly by Hopkins Drama Association and Student Council. “Money is great and helpful to the food bank. It gets more people involved even if they don’t fundraise on weekends. [These events] associate fundraising as something that can happen rather than just asking for donations,” said Simon. “It’s great that people are involved in the Canned Food Drive right from the beginning, even if it’s in a small way.”
Even before the competition and fun, the Canned Food Drive is a community service event and a chance to give back. Student Council Representative Helena Lyng-Olsen ’18 said, “The Canned Food Drive is one of the best Student Council events because it combines organization with the desire to help a real cause. The fusion of the holida/Thanksgiving season and community service makes the Canned Food Drive special.”