Miss Moore County Organizes Art Supply Drive
For most college students, spring break means a week at the beach.
But for Miss Moore County, Summer Hennings, this week kicks off her art supply drive for Moore County Schools and students in Honduras. She has been visiting schools and enlisting the help of students help across the county. The art supply drive will run through the month of March, which is "Art in Schools Month."
Hennings wants to get her entire community involved in the project. She invites everyone in Moore County to support her drive by donating new or gently used art supplies of all kinds. Supplies can be mailed or dropped off at Crain's Creek Middle School or Cameron Presbyterian Church.
"I believe this project brings awareness to poverty both within our own community and abroad," Hennings says. "So many people do not realize a good portion of our county lives at or below the poverty line. Far fewer have seen the extreme level of poverty in countries such as Honduras."
Last fall Moore County made the news as having the fifth-largest percentage increase in poverty rate in the nation. Hennings believes that with 18.9 percent of the population living at or below the poverty line, Moore County students need to be aware that some of their peers may not have the same advantages they do. With today's global community, she thinks students need to be even more aware of poverty on an international level as well. In Honduras, about 65 percent of the population lives at or below the poverty line.
"It's easy to hear the statistics, the percentages of people who live in conditions horrendous when compared with those in the United States," Hennings says. "It's another thing to see them for yourself. Before I traveled to Honduras I had no idea what extreme poverty actually looked like."
Hennings traveled to Honduras two years ago with the organization Students Helping Honduras (SHH). When she participated in the Miss Moore County pageant last fall, the organization became her platform.
In Honduras, Hennings worked on building an addition to a school in the community of Las Flores. The grateful community and the work children did for their own education astounded her - but so did the level of poverty. While in Honduras, she saw children walking the streets suffering from abuse and drug addictions, and huge shanty towns in which entire communities lived in houses made of "cardboard or whatever materials they could find."
On one day of her trip, Hennings visited a government orphanage where three women looked after almost 300 children. While there, Hennings became in charge of one box of 64 crayons to be shared among 30 to 50 kids. It was that experience which inspired her art supply drive.
"The amount of joy simple crayons and paper brought those children astounded me," Hennings says. "Crayons are something most children here take for granted. At the orphanage, they were a special treat, and the children's creativity flew. I still have the picture one girl drew me that day."
At the Artalympics competition between middle schools on March 3, Hennings gave a speech to the students about SHH and her art supply drive. She called on students to imagine their lives without art.
"I want you to stop and think about all the art supplies you used today. What if there were only three boxes of crayons to share among all of you? And what if you only received those crayons a few times a year? How would your lives be different?"
For more information and updates on the art supply drive, go to missmoore county.com or check the Miss Moore County Facebook page.
More like this story