The Season of Giving

O’Neal’s ONV/Key Club was very successful with their canned food drive for the local food pantry this year, donating 1200 items in total. This is something that O’Neal does every year. It may be managed by a different organization or division, but it happens annually. Though all schools are good to serve its community, not only for the sake of the community, but to also introduce the students to the concept and the importance of giving. It is intriguing that community service at O’Neal started only two months after it opened with a food/clothing drive to assist the Moore County Welfare Department, only to follow the next month, December 1971, when all 41 students raised $95.04 to the United Fund of Moore County and asked it to be given to the Moore County Mental Health Association.

Service to the community continued to be strong. The late Jim Miles, who was Head of Lower School for many years, was focused on many service projects for his students. Time was taken out of the school week to dedicate towards the making of blankets for Project Linus – a program where blankets were made for police officers to have on hand to give to children they may see for comfort. A take-off of the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child, called Shoebox Christmas, had lower school families filling shoeboxes that were divided equally among the Sandhills Children’s Center, Coalition for Human Care and Guardian Ad Litem. The students enjoyed filling and decorating their shoeboxes. It was a big event for classes to load vehicles with their treasures. As time went on, the shoeboxes changed to bags – called “Bags of Cheer”.

In the Upper School, just before winter break, hats, mittens and scarves are donated to decorate the tree in the division as part of the Upper School holiday party.  All of the items are given to the Sandhills Area Coalition for Human Care.

Though the holidays put a spotlight on giving, O’Neal’s service organizations have projects throughout the school year. In addition, O’Neal’s student life has a community service project each year incorporated with the all-school red/blue points challenge. January 4-14, the ONV/Key Club will begin a clothing drive for the Coalition. Feel free to drop your gently used clothes, for all ages, to O’Neal.

Falcons Fly to 50

O’Neal is excited to share its history with readers as it quickly nears its 50th year in educating and cultivating youth in becoming successful, effective contributors to communities large and small. The official celebration starts school year 2021/2022. This weekly blog will focus on different aspects of the School as it grew through the years. With every entry, there is just as much more information to gather than what is already written. Readers who have been a part of the O’Neal community are encouraged to reach out and share their O’Neal memories. It is with great hope that the efforts of many in contributing information and photography can be published into a book for reflection and reference as the School continues to prosper for the next 50 years.

Please send your memoirs and photos to:
The O’Neal School
c/o Kathy Taylor, Director of Communications
P.O. Box 290
Southern Pines, NC 28388

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