A jar of peanut butter seems like such a small thing to most of us. But to orphans eking out a daily existence in the filthy garbage dumps of Mexico, it’s a lifeline.
Students in John Condon’s seventh-grade science class at Skyridge Middle School are helping to contribute to this important nutritional need by collecting jars of peanut butter. These will be taken to Mexico by the brother of another Skryidge teacher, Gail Welsh.
It is the fourth year of the school peanut butter collection efforts.
“It is so important because it is easy to transport and fills an important nutritional need,” Condon said. “So I started ‘Peanut Butter Kids.’ My students love to help kids their own age and younger.”
Last year, Condon’s class collected 321 jars.
“I ask the students to bust open their piggy banks and spend their own money on this,” he said. “And I assure them that their peanut butter is going to a Mexican kid who doesn’t have anything at all.”
Condon added that it is enlightening for many of the students to see how other kids their age live.
“It’s an opportunity to give to others who don’t have it as good as they do,” he said. “They realize that things are good and they have it well. These kids in the dump have it far worse.”
Seventh-graders Lindsey Kosaki, Kate Fritz and Adam Ryan are all dedicated to the peanut butter collection efforts. On the first day last week, they each brought in two jars, purchased with their own money, and plan to bring more.
“I like knowing that the peanut butter I bring goes to kids in Mexico,” Fritz said. “This is the only food some of them have.”
Kosaki feels the same.
“It made me feel kind of sad though, because I have food to eat even if I don’t like it,” she said. “Helping these kids helps you understand that you should be happy with what you have.”
Ryan said he also enjoys the feeling of making a difference.
“The fact that kids here just don’t like what they’re eating is kind of stupid,” he said. “There are others in the world who don’t have anything. Just imagine what they are eating.”
The peanut butter collection efforts will continue through Friday, Nov. 19. Those who want to contribute can drop off donations at the Skyridge front office, 5220 N.W. Parker St.