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Clark County students showed children can make a difference by collecting thousands of canned goods for Operation Happiness.

Students at Shearer Elementary School stepped up for the cause this year, securing the top spot for the most canned food donated compared to other district schools.

Shearer collected 3,753 cans for Operation Happiness. Principal Mark Rose said he thinks it is the most the school has ever collected.

Families signed up for Operation Happiness receive a Christmas meal, staples for the pantry and coats for the family.

Families who register for Operation Happiness attend the Day of Giving, set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church on West Lexington Avenue. There, volunteers will distribute the items. Last year, CCCS served more about 1,100 families, and about 678 children participated.

There will also be a prayer team, and local churches and homemakers groups will serve chili for families.

For more than 40 years, the program has been helping families at a critical time of need throughout the year. Food boxes include turkey, potatoes, rolls, brownie mix, macaroni and cheese, eggs and butter along with canned vegetables and fruits, cereal and some personal care items like toilet paper, laundry detergent and dish soap.

Clark County Public Schools held canned food drives to help collect items.

Second-grader Avery Dore helped to load the canned food onto the loading truck, saying it was one of the best days she’s had.

“I love helping people,” she said.

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