By Paul Tennant firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Annie L. Sargent School, located several miles from the center of town on Johnson Street, strives to teach elementary students the five pillars of the RAISE message: respect, achievement, inclusion, service and empathy.
Students and parents recently put those ideals into action by picking more than 70 bushels of apples at Smolak Farms, putting them in bags and delivering them to Lazarus House, a Lawrence charity that provides food and other assistance to those facing severe economic struggles.
More than 100 members of the Sargent School family teamed up Oct. 18 for what they say will be the first annual apple collection at Smolak Farms, at Dale and South Bradford streets.
They brought the apples to St. Martha’s Pantry, the food division of Lazarus House Ministries Inc. Children from Sargent School delivered and unloaded the fresh fruit.
Michael Smolak, owner of Smolak Farms, donated both collection bags and the huge quantity of apples. The children learned about the need for fresh, healthy food grown in their own community, according to Heather Ursu, the parent who organized this project.
St. Martha’s Food Pantry welcomes food donations and fresh produce is among the staples it needs the most. More information can be found online at www.lazarushouse.org/food.
“Sargent School is pleased to have had such a great group to support this cause, and grateful for the opportunity to make a small difference. The children learned the valuable lesson that donating their time to help others can not only be gratifying, but fun!” Ursu said.
“We try to help the community whenever we can,” Principal Edward Foster said. “They (pupils and parents) went out there and did a great job.”