The holiday season brings more than merriment and cheer. It also brings high winds and freezing temperatures.
Regardless of the weather, first responders work diligently to ensure the Fort Meade community is safe.
To show appreciation, Meade High School student ambassadors filled holiday baskets with packets of tea, coffee and hot chocolate and snacks to thank those who serve the community.
The baskets were presented at the student ambassadors’ second annual First Responders Drive for the Fort Meade Directorate of Emergency Services on Dec. 13, 2016.
“The biggest inspiration behind [making baskets] is to thank the people who keep our community safe,” said Stacy Nielson, a registrar with the Meade High Counseling Department and the adviser to the student ambassador program. “They’re outside in the cold all winter long.
“These baskets are meant to be a morale booster and to foster a partnership with the base and Meade High.”
Last year, the students tried to deliver their baskets around post. This year, members of the DES came to Meade High.
“There was a better turnout this year because they came to us,” Nielson said. “It was a much bigger success, and we’re hoping to make it a continuing effort.”
The Student Ambassador Program is made up of around 60 students in grades 10 to 12. The program was modeled after the military sponsorship program, which was designed to pair students with incoming students to help them acclimate to their new school and community.
“What’s cool about it this year is that a majority of this year’s ambassadors are students we toured around last year,” Nielson said. “These kids impress me so much by what they want to do and what they’re willing to do.”
For the First Responders Driver, student ambassadors brought in donations to fill the baskets.
Meade High senior Asianna Brown was this year’s top donor. A military child and bagger at the commissary, Brown used her tips to purchase about 50 goods to donate.
“I wanted to help out those who help others,” she said. “It was a positive experience because I felt like I was doing something that matters.”
By Maddie Ecker, Staff Writer