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Student organizes food drive for homeless
A caring heart
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Shannon Holcomb and friend Kayla accept a donation of food from a patron at Kroger on Sunday. - photo by Photo by Katie McGurl

Food drive locations set:
Shannon will be collecting non-perishable food items for donation to Savannah’s Union Mission on:
• Feb. 12-13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Walmart at 6000 Ogeechee Rd. in Savannah
 • Feb. 19, 2-5 p.m.
The Ice Cream Stop at 13300 Ford Ave. in Richmond Hill
 • Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Kroger at 9701 Ford Ave. in Richmond Hill 
• Feb. 26, 2-5 p.m.
The Ice Cream Stop at 13300 Ford Ave. in Richmond Hill
 • Feb. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Walgreens at 2270 Hwy 17 in Richmond Hill
 Food collection boxes will be set up outside The Ice Cream Stop and Walgreens in Richmond Hill throughout the month of February.

One evening, over dinner with her family at Golden Corral, eight-year-old Shannon Holcomb announced, “I want to save the world.”

The Richmond Hill Elementary School student had been inspired from lessons learned in her classroom.

“We were just studying Martin Luther King, Jr. in class, so I wanted to help out," she said.

Parents Sean and Jennifer, moved by their daughter’s sentiment, guided her through some initial steps.

“We talked about it and she had several different ideas,” said Jennifer. “And we just kind of started throwing ideas back and forth. She decided that she wanted to do a food drive and help the homeless, so that's when we called around, found a place, and started it."

The Holcombs got in touch with Union Mission in Savannah, and, according to Jennifer, “they loved the idea.” Union Mission, established in 1936, provides shelter, health care, counseling, job training and more to needy families and individuals.

With help from her mother and the willingness of local store owners, Shannon was able to establish a number of different locations and dates during which to collect non-perishable food items for the shelter.

This past weekend, Shannon, her family (including younger brother Aidan, 4), and friend, Kayla, 9, began the “Have a Heart, Help the Homeless” food drive. The group stood at the entrance to Kroger on Abercorn Street in Savannah, ringing bells and asking patrons to help by donating. Many customers took the time to drop off bags of food that they had just purchased, placing them in Shannon’s homemade, pink and red construction paper-covered boxes.

The second-grader, who has a love for science, also wants people to know that, although we tend to remember the needy around the holidays, these people should not be forgotten throughout the year.

Shannon said that helping in this way feels “really good,” and she hopes to raise “a fortune” for the homeless.

The “Have a Heart, Help the Homeless” food drive will continue through the month of February at five additional locations, four of them in Richmond Hill.

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