What do you get when you combine the forces of Prosper Ladies Association’s Light Lunch Ministry, Prosper’s first grade teachers, Prosper Young Men’s Service League and Custer Storage and Business Center? A cereal drive that collected more than 1,000 boxes and bags of cereal.

The cereal will be distributed this summer to area students by PLA’s Light Lunch Ministry. These children receive reduced-cost lunches during the school year but need further assistance over the summer months. Tiffany Smith, who runs the program over the summer, said cereal is an expensive item and is considered a “luxury item.” Without the cereal drive and the generosity of the many families who donated, the children would be without cereal for breakfast or a midday snack.

The first grade team leaders at Prosper Independent School District took charge of marketing the cereal drive to their school. The cereal drive was implemented into their Financial Literacy Project Unit. First grade students learned the difference between earning, saving and donating money. Teachers came up with unique hands-on experiences to teach different valuable lessons, such as Erica Stoutes at Hughes Elementary.

“Our kids had to do small jobs at home to earn the money to buy their boxes of cereal to donate,” she said.

At Cockrell Elementary, Lyndsey O’Neal said the students learned the value of compassion while giving to those less fortunate by making cards with pictures and a nice note that was taped to each box.

Prosper’s Young Men Service League helped coordinate the drive with the schools and PLA. Their website says that YMSL is a “non-profit organization that initiates and encourages young men and their mothers to pursue philanthropic involvement in their community and provides an opportunity to enhance mother/son relationships.”

The Prosper YMSL chapter of high school boys and moms picked up all the donated cereal and delivered it to PLA’s storage facility. Six large vehicles were filled to the brim with donated cereal.

Machelle and Travis Sims, owners of Custer Storage and Business Center at Highway 380 and Custer, donated one of their storage units to house the cereal for PLA. It was just one more example of people willing to give what they can in order to help others.