St. Egbert Catholic School fifth-graders, from left, Allan Willis and Ollie Womble, donate food Monday to Martha’s Mission Cupboard in Morehead City. (Cheryl Burke photo)

MOREHEAD CITY — It may have looked like a one vehicle parade Monday as an SUV pulled a trailer full of children and canned goods through Morehead City, ending at Martha’s Mission Food Cupboard on Bay Street.

The group from St. Egbert Catholic School, about 2 miles away from Martha’s Mission, even got a police escort to the mission, which provides food to needy families.

The entire student body and staff lined the sidewalk in front of the school on Evans Street to watch fifth-graders fill the trailer and take off to their destination.

St. Egbert physical education teacher Colleen Whilldin said students ran laps at the beginning of physical education classes over the last two weeks, with the goal of donating canned goods for the miles they accumulated.

“Our pre-K through second-graders ran 2 miles and our third through fifth grades ran 3 miles,” Ms. Whilldin said. “We had set a goal of donating 200 canned goods to the mission. We ended up with 557 cans. I was just speechless and so proud of these kids.”

Martha’s Mission Manager Ginger Wade said she is grateful for the generosity of the school.

“It brought tears to my eyes and I thought it was such a neat idea,” Ms. Wade said as she watched the students unload the items at the mission. “Getting the kids involved in helping the community is awesome. I also love that the police got involved.”

Morehead City Police Lt. Gene Guthrie said the officers enjoyed helping the students.

“We just wanted to make sure they could get here safely,” Lt. Guthrie said. “It was a great project and we’re glad to help anyone we can.”

Students delivering the food said they enjoyed the effort, as well.

Fifth-grader Mollie Ivey said, “I feel really good that I can help people who don’t have food for Thanksgiving.”

Fifth-grader Noah Sanborn agreed.

“It feels good to know that we’re making an impact in our community and helping people,” he said.

Student Catherine Paschall noted, “It makes me feel good because there are a lot of people that don’t have a lot of food and I want people to be happy.”

Those interested in volunteering or donating food and items can come by the mission at 901 Bay St. during regular hours, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

They can also call the mission at 252-726-1717 to make arrangements for other drop-off times if necessary.

Those wanting to make monetary tax-deductible donations can make checks out to Martha’s Mission and mail them to P.O. Box 603, Morehead City, NC 28557. They can also donate through Pay Pal on the mission’s website at

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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