Battling for Breakfast

Student Council Hosts Sock Drive Competition, Class Champions to Recieve Donuts


Zane Mrozla-Mindrup

Staying Organized: At 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, Matthew McKinney (21) and Sarah Turpen (21) walked around the school to collect, count and tally up how many socks were in each first-hour sock box. “I am the president of the student council, so that is why I was involved in the sock drive,” Turpen said. “My job was to advertise to fellow students as well as collect socks.” The donated socks will be evenly distributed between Open Door Mission locations in Lincoln and Omaha.

From Feb. 1 to Feb. 12, the GHS Student Council hosted a competitive sock drive among the first-hour classes. Only donations of either new or slightly worn socks were accepted. At 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, student council members gathered the donated socks, counted them and concluded the first-hour class champions: Mrs. Ann Ross (191 sock donations), Ms. Kim Wasalaski (206 sock donations) and Mrs. Kiley Luchsinger (179 sock donations). On Friday, Feb. 19, these classes were catered donuts by Donut Run.
“After we counted the number of socks at the end of the day on Friday, we split the donations between the Open Door Mission locations in Omaha and Lincoln,” student council sponsor Ms. Anita O’Neill said. “We actually reached out to Mike Smith, a public speaker who came to GHS and talked about skateboarding last year, and asked him where we should donate the socks to. He recommended that we donate them to the Open Door Mission in Lincoln.”
According to Mike Smith Live, “Mike’s focus in the non-profit space has been rewriting what ‘best practices’ can look like when it comes to ending generational poverty through youth empowerment.” In addition, Smith has served as a motivational speaker for multiple schools, making it his mission to inspire the youth to become more active in their community. His organization, Skate for Change, a skateboarding outreach group that provides socks for the homeless in their communities, motivated senior Brynn Jacobson to start an in-school organization.
“I reached out to Mike Smith because he came to our school a few years ago and talked with the student body about homelessness,” Jacobson said. “His words gave me the idea to start a club at school called CIA (Character in Action); I wanted to help support him and the homeless community.”
This school year, the student council has only been able to host a food and sock drive. The blood drive, an annual donation event at GHS, was canceled due to COVID-19. With this cancellation, the student council was inactive during the first semester.
“About a month ago, after Christmas break, we had a meeting,” Ms. O’Neill said. “We had a meeting of about half of our student council; there are 32 students on the student council this year. I told the students that we have got to do something in the second semester since we have hardly done anything because of COVID-19, and Chuck Sams mentioned the idea of a sock drive; several other students jumped-in on this idea.”
Not only did Sams inspire the idea of the sock drive, but he is credited as the chairman and head organizer of the sock drive. Multiple posters, sock decorations and sock boxes promoting this event are located around the school. A small group of student council members, including Sams, designed these items in an effort to involve the student body. The student council members designed 50 sock boxes for first-hour classes along with a variety of in-school decorations and posters.

“I brought up the idea of doing the sock drive at a student council meeting,” Sams said. “We were all brainstorming of what to do for the semester; this (the sock drive) came to mind. I previously helped with the clothing drive for CIA and thought it would be great to reiterate such for the student council. I was not involved in the decoration, other than the posters promoting such, for I designed them.”
At the end of the sock drive, in total, the student council collected 1004 pairs of socks. These socks will be evenly distributed and donated to Open Door Mission locations in Omaha and Lincoln. With these donations made by GHS students, faculty and staff members, immediate relief will be brought to homeless community members and those in desperate need of socks.