From left to right: Callie Hancock, Sammy Patel, Cynde Hardy, Olivia Levine and Libby Morrill packing the truck with the food just bought from Walmart.

By Jasmine Haroun

Last month, Randall Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) assisted the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) of Brandon for the third year in a row, helping make a difference for those in need.

Every year, NJHS creates a haunted house fundraiser. This Halloween, NJHS students continued the tradition. The group built a haunted house that students paid to visit during their lunch period. Each visit through the Haunted House cost $3. By the end of the day, the students had raised about $2,600.

The proceeds were then chosen to be donated to the WCR for the third year in a row. Every year, the center uses the funds to buy food for their food pantry. However, what made this event even more meaningful for the students was that they got to participate in procuring the items needed for the pantry.

On January 20, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students arrived at Walmart, on the corner of Lithia Pinecrest and Lumsden Rds. Each student was given an item to buy and a budget to stay within.

The students had an opportunity to use their math skills to calculate how much could be purchased and what items provided the greatest value. At the end of their shopping spree, they checked out and loaded the supplies into a truck, which was then driven back to the center’s food pantry.

“I love this project because our students get to see the impact that they can make on their community,” said Cydne Hardy, teacher sponsor of NJHS.

The center established a food pantry to assist families by providing a week’s worth of food and hygiene items. After the donation from the NJHS, the WRC was able to provide food for 90 families over a period of about two months.

“For the past three years, NJHS has bridged the gap for us when our food pantry was running very low. We are so grateful for Randall’s NJHS for choosing us,” said Cheryl Hickman, founder of the Women’s Resource Center of Tampa.

For more information about the WRC, visit wrctampa.org. Randall Middle School is located at 16510 FishHawk Blvd. and can be reached at 740-3900.