BOYS in the GOOD
How one after-school group is doing their part to help end hunger in Maryland.
At just 11 years-old, Dakari Rolle recognizes the impact kids can have on their communities. “There are lots of people in our world that need help and kids can help too,” Rolle said. “I’m hoping if I ever need help, someone will help me out.” Two years ago, as a fifth grader at Randallstown Elementary School, Rolle ran for president of the BOYS in the GOOD after-school youth program on a platform that included hosting a food drive to collect food and raise money for the Maryland Food Bank. “I thought collecting food would be a good way to give back and to help other people — especially children who may not have food to eat or who might be homeless,” he said.
The idea was met with resounding enthusiasm by his peers in BOYS in the GOOD, who elected Rolle as their president. In 2015, they held their first food drive and virtual food drive, and their second collection effort wrapped up this past December. All told, BOYS in the GOOD donated more than 500 pounds of food to the food bank.
Rolle has since moved on to middle school, but the food drive has become an annual event at the direction of BOYS in the GOOD founder and fifth grade teacher Da’Nall Wilmer. “We were very fortunate to help the Maryland Food Bank with its mission, but even more grateful for the opportunity to learn about such an important cause,” said Wilmer.
BOYS in the GOOD helping in their own neighborhood
Wilmer leads the group of young men, in grades three through five, by teaching various leadership skills through workshops, enrichment activities, and community service.
“Since our first food drive took place, our young men have developed an appreciation for community service and they constantly suggest ways we can give back to those who are less fortunate,” Wilmer said.
According to Rolle, the success of the food drive made him realize he’s able to make a difference and influence others to be positive too. “I’m blessed to have a home to live in and food to eat,” he said. “I learned it’s good to give back by helping others who may not have what I have. Every little bit counts and we can all help.”
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