On Nov. 4, 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued Proclamation 3560, one of the Thanksgiving proclamations given by the U.S. president every year. Sadly, a little more than two weeks later, President Kennedy was assassinated.
This makes his final proclamation all that more poignant. In it he wrote, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Putting gratitude into action is the best way to express with sincerity an attitude of thanksgiving. Students at Pioneer High School put this sentiment into action by assembling Thanksgiving dinner baskets for those in need. This tradition, started by Conny Hernandez, is now in its 15th year. Hernandez, a former Pioneer High School employee, wanted to make sure no student went without during this special holiday. Though she’s now retired, Hernandez still volunteers her time and resources to provide for and organize the baskets.
Staff members at PHS also donated turkeys to the cause. When the program first started, the food baskets went to families of students at Pioneer. However, due to a great response from the staff at Pioneer, the program has quickly grown. This year, leadership students under the direction of PHS counselor, Cary Jordan, volunteered to load and unload all of the food and assemble the dinner baskets.
The efforts of Hernandez, Jordan, PHS students, and PHS staff resulted in 24 Thanksgiving baskets. Each basket comfortably fed four people. These baskets went to families in need across Carson City School District. The recipients are identified by Pioneer staff according to specific needs. Hernandez and Jordan began organizing this effort several weeks ago. The food started arriving a week ago Friday and baskets were complete by Monday.
In addition to assembling Thanksgiving baskets, PHS leadership students also made cheerful Thanksgiving placemats for Meals on Wheels. The placemats were delivered to seniors along with their meals. Colorful placemats add an extra bit of happiness for the meal recipients.