LAKEWOOD, OH (WOIO) - On Thanksgiving, people will gather with their families, give thanks, and eat hearty meals, but for some families, that's a struggle.
That's where some Romona's Kids come in.
A group of local young men are making sure their community enjoys a feast before they do.
Every year, St. Edward High School freshmen take part in a Day of Service. They may be new to the school, but the class of 2017 is already learning that to lead, they must serve.
Freshmen traditionally kick off the schools' Thanksgiving Food Drive to benefit the Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation.
Half the class hits the streets of Lakewood to drop off collection bags at homes, to be picked up a week later, filled with donated food.
Back at school, the others make posters to encourage the rest of the school to pitch in.
"Service is one of the main things here at St. Ed's it's one of our pillars here. It definitely means a lot to me to be a part of that. I like seeing the happiness on people's faces, and the feeling that you did something good," said freshman Logan Leduc.
It's not long before the school's front hallway is filled with food. "We have a certain goal, it's 21 cans each for each student and if we do that we can get roughly 20,000 cans in general," said Jack Curran, St. Edward senior.
Three hundred families will each get about fifty pounds of food, enough to last through the whole holiday weekend, and into the next week.
"Without their volunteerism, literally picking up food, putting it in bags and taking it to these families' doors and knocking on the door and saying, 'Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from Lakewood and St. Ed's,' we wouldn't be able to pull that off," said Jeff Worron, Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation President. "
The Day of Service is the inaugural event of freshman year, and teaches students how to be a good neighbor and be involved in the community.
"We have students from all over and they don't just go to school here, this is their community and they need to be involved and it's nice when you have students who may be from Rocky River, Cleveland Heights, Avon, or Twinsburg who go up to Lakewood residents and say, 'this is from St. Ed's, I'm part of your community,' it's a nice thing to see that interaction," said Liam Haggerty, St. Edward High School Vice President of Mission Effectiveness.
"I think that's what St. Ed's is all about, making it so we're all one big family, throughout the whole world," said Peter Gilles, St. Edward senior.