As a part of the “Fill the Hill” event, students will be standing in front of the three Johnson City Food City locations on Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a list of non-perishable food items, personal care items and housekeeping items that can be purchased and donated to their cause.
The “Fill the Hill” event is a capstone project for Debbie Mottern’s hospitality management and Topper Summit classes. The students worked with the United Way of Washington County and the Johnson City Schools Homeless Education Program to see how they can help the community.
Science Hill senior Esther N'Sapo said after their class heard from United Way of Washington County CEO Kristan Ginnings and Johnson City Schools Homeless Education Coordinator Sydnee’ DeBusk, they knew the goal of their project.
“We all wanted to reach out and do something that could directly affect students at Science Hill and that might trickle down to help students and families at other schools,” N’Sapo said. “I think it’s hard to realize that some kids come to school who may have not have been able to take a shower or who slept in a house that does not have electricity. I can say that it touched my heart because I know someone that has been through that.”
DuBusk said she is excited to help the students with this project and hopes that it is a tradition that they will be able to be maintained. This school year, the JCS homeless education program has helped 233 students and their families.
“The idea of students taking care of students creates a sense of community that lets their compassion for all shine,” DeBusk said. “Planning and taking action on how they can bridge the gap and provide for their fellow classmates and their families speaks highly of the students of Johnson City Schools.”
The students will be in front of the Food City locations at North Roan Street, South Roan Street and North State of Franklin to distribute a list of items they will be collecting. Those donations can then be left with the students.
"I am extremely impressed and thankful for the time and effort the Science Hill High School Students have put into the “Fill the Hill” Event,” Ginnings said. “The impact of this event for their fellow students will truly help change lives and make a difference in our community.
“I believe that you have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you, and that's exactly the impact these students are making whether they realize it or not. I hope that others will see what these students are doing to give back to people in our community and will be inspired to do the same."