AUBURN, Mass. – Students, parents and staff from Auburn Public Schools recently donated Halloween candy, snacks, granola bars and socks for homeless veterans for the seventh straight Veterans Day.
Serena Kelly, an eighth-grade student at Auburn Middle School, started the Veterans Candy Drive with the help of her friends, students’ families and school staff and teachers when she was a second-grader at Bryn Mawr Elementary School.
“When I was in second grade, I had a lot of leftover candy from Halloween, so I decided it’d be a good idea to donate it,” Kelly said. “With Veterans Day right after Halloween, I decided to donate it to homeless veterans, and the schools have been doing it since.
“Everyone gets involved, and it’s great,” Kelly added.
This past Veterans Day was the seventh year of donating 85 treat bags to the residents at the Grove Street Veterans Shelter in Worcester. Each veteran received a big bag filled with treats, new socks and at least one or two homemade thank-you cards from a student.
Kelly said that, when they dropped off the treat bags, they met a lot of veterans, wished them happy Veterans Day and thanked them for their service. As the veterans grabbed their treat bags, she said they thanked the students with big smiles on their faces.
“It is such a great feeling to honor the veterans and let them know we are thinking of them,” she said.
Kelly wants to thank everyone who has helped her and supported the Veterans Candy Drive over the years. She said several kids donated their time making posters, sorting the candy and making up the treat bags and cards, which made the veterans feel appreciated. Kelly said she couldn’t accomplish this project for the veterans if it wasn’t for all of the help from students, parents and staff.