Mendham High Student Launches Food Drive
Food drive competition heats up rivalry as Minutemen take aim at the Cougars.
There are many rivalries that transcend sports. They extend into the schools, out into the towns and become a part of the community.
Yankees-Red Sox, the Lakers-Celtics are two of the most notable. They pit entire cities against one another. It was a battle of philosophy, a battle of culture. It was a battle for supremacy that got to the core of the people who made up each involved community.
Now imagine a rivalry where the passion, the drive, the competition and the intensity were channeled into a cause. Not a game, but an act of service.
A food drive.
YouGiveGoods.com is a website that makes it easy to set up and run food drives and animal shelter drives. Based in Mendham, the site was launched last September and has been growing rapidly ever since.
“Our core philosophy is to make it easier for people to help out so that more people do,” said Patrick O’Neill, CEO of YouGiveGoods.
Lewis comes from a service-minded family, so the idea of a food drive made sense.
“My mother volunteers at a soup kitchen and she talks about it all the time. I learned that it’s hard for these places over the summer because they usually don’t get enough food,” Lewis said. “So I decided I wanted to do a food drive before school is out.”
Lonergan’s mother had run a drive before using YouGiveGoods.com, which raised $4,000 worth of food for Eva’s Kitchen in Paterson so the battlefield was chosen.
“From our standpoint, we were excited to know that two more young people wanted to use our system to help others,” O’Neill said. "And what’s even more exciting for us is that we have just added a Food Drive Contest feature to our website. When we found out these boys were interested in running a drive, we suggested that they consider running a contest between the two high school communities.“
Both organizers have been a part of the Mendham and Chatham sports rivalry for some time, as spectators at siblings contests and as participants themselves. But this is a whole new arena. This time, it’s not on the playing field or in the classroom—this time the rivalry is about doing good, about helping out, about who can do the most to help those in need—all for bragging rights.
Lonergan has set up a food drive on behalf of the Chatham High School community to support the Salvation Army—Morristown Corps. Lewis has set up his food drive to support the Salvation Army Corps in Dover. Both are going to need help to this summer.
“I don’t think people realize how important it is to fill the food pantries in the summer when kids are not in school to get their one hot meal a day,” said Brenda Beavers, divisional director of Human Services for the Salvation Army N.J. Division. “This contest between the schools is a great way to have some fun while helping us to feed hungry families this summer.“
The Food Contest Drive system on the YouGiveGoods website will let everyone check to see how the drives are going in real time, and that includes via smartphone.
“Today’s kids are so tech savvy and are used to getting constant feedback. We set up a unique Contest Page for every contest on our system so that anyone who wants to see how it’s going is only one click away from the scoreboard,” O’Neill said. “Our hope is that by making these drives more exciting and making it easy for people to connect and engage in the drive that it will produce better results—more food.”
You can check out Brendan’s drive in support of the Salvation Army—Dover Corps.
And you can check out Tim’s drive in support of the Salvation Army—Morristown Corps.
Or view the Scoreboard.
Editor’s note: Mendham-Chester Patch applauds Brendan for throwing down the gauntlet to Tim. However, the last count showed the Cougar sophomore’s drive to be in the lead. As a member of the Mendham-Chester community, Mendham Chester Patch will not stand for that. We are encouraging this generous community to show its colors and help clip the Cougars. That said, we are willing to do our part. By signing up for our newsletter, we will donate one can of food toward Brendan’s drive. It costs you nothing but a moment of your time and you get awesome news delivered to your inbox to boot!