When the fifth graders at East Woods Elementary were assigned a Passion Project, 10-year-old Violet Tuttle instantly knew what her passion would be—feeding people.
“My teacher wanted us to make a difference in what we do and think about how we can help others,” Violet said.
Fighting hunger holds special meaning for the whole Tuttle family because English, Violet’s mom, grew up knowing the importance of hunger-relief organizations in her community.
“My parents worked really, really hard and they just never really made a lot of money,” said English. “Sometimes we would stand in line to get food like cheese from our church. I’ve always tried to show my kids the importance of helping others whenever you can, because nobody should ever be hungry.”
When talking about her project, English said to Violet, “You need to do this for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank! We’ve already been there and we know that they can get the food out to the people who need it.”
Violet decided to hold a food drive for the Foodbank at her Dad’s business, Spencer Products Company. Violet decorated a donation box, including an explanation of her project, and put it in the employee break room. In a few short weeks, the box was filled with donations.
“It’s not a big office,” English said. “There’s only about 20 employees there but they were very, generous. I was beaming with pride for Violet’s project, and for my husband’s team; they showed my daughter true kindness.”
Violet’s ongoing Passion Project included a presentation at her school’s open house where Violet created the “giving tree.”
“Last year in my language arts class, we read a book called The Giving Tree and it was about how a tree helped a boy,” Violet said. “So I thought we could do a project called the Giving Tree and it could help people in need. We built the tree out of cardboard boxes from the school and decorated it.”
Students and teachers were encouraged to attach messages of hope and support for the recipients of the food she collected. With comments like, “your smile lights up the world” and “your day will brighten with family and friends.”
This way, a family struggling with hunger will not only be filled by Violet’s donated food, they will also be filled with food for the soul.
In all, Violet collected 129 pounds of food, which is enough for 108 meals! While proud of her efforts Violet said she is happy to help make a positive difference in people’s lives.
“I know that my parents always say we should be grateful for the food that we have,” she said. “But a lot of families don’t have enough or any food—and I want to change that.”
If you have a passion like Violet, please host your own food and funds drive by visiting: AkronCantonFoodbank.org.