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Denison’s culture of giving benefits schools, community

September at Denison ISD showcased an incredible culture of giving. Trucks piled high with school supplies pulled up at campus loading docks, filled with boxes of pens, pencils, folders, notebook paper, tablets, markers and more --- everything students need to study, work, learn and succeed.

Exiting those same loading docks were truckloads of canned and packaged food: pasta, peanut butter, soups, canned meats and vegetables, breakfast bars, mac & cheese cups and other food items --- all bound for Denison’s Helping Hands Food Pantry.

“If not for the generosity of our community, our teachers would be spending their own money to buy school supplies for students whose families can’t afford them,” said Cindy Birdsong, Counselor at Lamar Elementary. “Our supply closets are stocked and re-stocked throughout the year with everything our kids need, academically and personally, to do and be their best. It’s such a joy and a blessing to be part of this wonderful community.”

According to DHS teacher and Student Council sponsor Jamie Dugan, Denison collected over 34,804 canned food items for this year’s Battle of the Ax Canned Food Drive.

“I am totally blown away by this year’s participation,” said Dugan. “Almost every school collected more food items than in previous years, and we also added a way to donate online. We had Yellow Jackets make donations from all over the United States. This drive is a friendly annual competition between Denison and Sherman Student Councils that involves and embraces district-wide participation. It’s just an incredible way for this historic rivalry to do good for our community.”

Regina Prigge, DISD Director of Special Programs and Compensatory Education, works annually with donors to coordinate efforts and identify needs throughout the school year.

“This fall’s donor list included Albertsons, Kroger, the Grayson County Shelter, Gages Pages, EarnhartBuilt and Share-Taking it to the Streets…as well as so many of our area churches,” said Prigge. “Clothing items, shoes and personal care items are also included in the donations. It really does take a village to meet all the needs…and our village is absolutely amazing.”

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