MSVPA students help feed local veterans

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published December 5, 2017

 Students from Warren Consolidated Schools’ Middle School Visual and Performing Arts program recently held a food drive to benefit the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 154 Veterans Support Center.

Students from Warren Consolidated Schools’ Middle School Visual and Performing Arts program recently held a food drive to benefit the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 154 Veterans Support Center.

Photo provided by Matthew C. Mutschler

WARREN — Because of the generosity of several Warren Consolidated Schools students and members of the community, a local service organization that assists veterans is getting a boost.

The seventh- and eighth-grade students from the district’s Middle School Visual and Performing Arts program, or MSVPA, recently collected more than 2,000 nonperishable food items and household supplies during its third annual food drive. The students brought in items from home over a two-week period.

MSVPA social studies teacher Matthew C. Mutschler said that at the school’s Nov. 16 play, “Epic Tales of Egypt,” which he wrote and directed, the students chose not to charge money for tickets. Instead, they required all guests to bring at least one food item to donate as their entry fee. The donations included canned foods, pasta, bottled water and shampoo.

“I love that they accepted the responsibility and showed an understanding for the important cause,” Mutschler said.

The items were then donated to the Macomb County Veterans Food Pantry, which runs out of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 154 Veterans Support Center, located in Clinton Township. Members of the service organization picked up the food in their truck.

“The kids got to meet veterans, shake their hands and thank them for their service,” Mutschler said. “The students got to see the end result.”

The food pantry works with Macomb County Veterans Services and assists about 800 veterans each year and their families. Veterans receive enough food to get them through several weeks.

“The donations help put food on veterans’ tables,” Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 154 1st Vice President Gary Purcell said. “We’re all volunteers here. People know us. They know what we do. We’re here to give a hand up, not a handout.”

The MSVPA program is offered for half the day for seventh- and eighth-grade students at the Butcher Educational Center in Warren. The students then return to their home middle school for the other half of the day, unless they are in the district’s Middle School Mathematics Science Technology Center program, which integrates mathematics, science, English language arts, and technology.

The MSVPA is a program designed to provide students with a more thorough understanding of social studies by combining that curriculum with studies in the fine arts of music, performance and visual art. Students take a test to be admitted into the program.

To receive assistance from the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 154 or to make a donation, call (586) 776-9810.

To view the game’s website, visit vva154.com. Recipients must show their DD-214 armed forces discharge papers and proof they live in Macomb County via a driver’s license or state identification.