Cascade High School students collect thousands of donations for community

EVERETT, WA - Students at Cascade High School are collecting donations over the next couple weeks to donate to families in need.

 For 57 years, the students at Cascade High School have conducted a holiday food drive. The drive starts the week after Thanksgiving and runs through the first three weeks of December.

“It brings tears to my eyes every year,” said Cathy Woods, principal of Cascade High School. “It’s an awesome program and an awesome way to be involved with our students,” she added.

Woods has been principal at Cascade High School for 12 years. She says in that time she has seen the food drive grow.

She says in just about three weeks, her students collect 60-80,000 food items, and thousands of dollars in donations.

The food is then donated to about 200 families selected by Volunteers of America.

Woods says the whole student body gets involved; for many of them it is a cause that hits close to home.

“I can tell you that our students that get involved in the food drive are often people that are receiving from the food drive,” said Woods.

Throughout the area, students will collect donated items at grocery stores before and after class.

“When I go to bed at night, it’s truly special to be a part of,” said Chris Rabideau.

Rabideau is a senior at Cascade High School.

He’s taken part in the food drive all four years. He says he works about 40 hours a week helping with the food drive during the three weeks the school runs the drive.

He says it’s a cause that is very important to him.

“I never got to experience the joys and wonders of Christmas as a kid,” said Rabideau. “I was just trying to survive,” he added.

Rabideau says growing up he struggled. He says luckily now, he is in a better situation, but still remembers how hard this time of year can be.

“I’m there to tell them, ‘you’re not alone. Look at me I was able to do this, and I’m just a seventeen-year-old kid from Everett,’” he said.

Students will collect donations for another week. Then teams will take the food and gifts directly to the families.