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Two local schools, one public and one private, joined forces to help the less fortunate for Thanksgiving.

T.C. Martin Elementary School and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Bryantown, with help from the Social Concerns group from St. Mary’s Church in Bryantown and donations from the community, have put together food baskets for local families.

On Friday, representatives from both schools met at St. Mary’s Bryantown to sort donated food that had been collected during the past few weeks.

Students collected enough food to fill 75 baskets, St. Mary’s Principal Sharon Caniglia said.

Families in the Bryantown area will receive the baskets.

She said while the group usually plans to serve 75 families, she thought maybe there would be enough for more baskets this year if they were needed.

The purpose of creating the baskets, students said, was to provide food for those who for whatever reason could not afford it.

“It’s really helpful to people that need it,” said Blake Davis, 10, a student at T.C. Martin.

Donated food included canned goods, instant mashed potatoes, pasta, gravy, stuffing, desserts and ingredients for holiday dishes that families could prepare.

Eighth-grade students at St. Mary’s School collected about $345 for families to purchase turkeys.

Danielle Lewis, 12, of St. Mary’s said it is good that the two schools come together because it allows for a larger group of people to help, which means more of the community gets assistance.

She said it is also nice for the two schools to come together and get to know one another. She said St. Mary’s is a small school and it’s nice to meet new students.

St. Mary’s School selected student representatives from each class to participate, and T.C. Martin had its student council representatives participating Friday.

“I’m really enjoying this,” said Ronald Robinson, 11, of T.C. Martin.

Ronald said he got the opportunity to be a part of the project from being a part of the student council, but really, he was happy just to be volunteering.

Ronald said students were volunteering their time to sort the donated items Friday.

“I’m not being paid, just doing it to do it,” he said. With a smile, he went on with his sorting duties.

After all of the items were sorted into piles of like products, students headed back to class and back across the street to T.C. Martin.

Later on, the Social Concerns group placed items into baskets to give out to those in need.

gphillips@somdnews.com