PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A fifth-grader finished the school year at Washington Gifted Middle School by collecting almost 900 canned goods for people in the need.
Ella Hanley, 11, started the Changemakers group at the beginning of the school year. She said the purpose of the group is to help people and spread good around the community.
“It means a lot to me. I just like to do stuff for my community,” she said.
For the last week of school, Hanley organized a food drive. The group collected almost 882 items in just five days.
She said she did not expect the food drive to be so successful because the group only had a few days to organize and market the event.
“I was the main one who planned it, but some of my friends helped with posters and stuff as well. It was just a little bit of advertising, but I wasn’t expecting to get this much food,” Hanley said.
Each day was themed to focus on specific categories, like toiletries, canned goods, and household supplies.
Hanley said half of the items were donated to the Peoria Area Food Bank. The other half will stock the school’s neighborhood pantry.
“It was just a really big honor to be able do this,” Hanley said.