The Truman Heartland Community Foundation’s “ School of Philanthropy” had an exciting field trip on April 12.

Our Youth Advisory Council students from 14 area high schools participated in an incredible service project with the goal of filling a box truck full of food to be donated to the Community Services League and their eight area food pantry locations – and fill the truck they did.

We had teams of students working from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on a beautiful spring day outside the Hy-Vee at U.S. 40 and Noland Road. I had the pleasure of being there for just a few hours to assist them, and what an incredible job they did reaching out to our community to provide food for the hungry. Throughout the day many of our 150 student members participated, and they all did a great job and enjoyed their service.

The foundation is very proud of all the students involved from these 14 area high schools and their success with filling the truck. It’s great to witness teams of students from different schools come together for a common goal. Typically, when these schools come together. it’s focused on competition. Our School of Philanthropy gives them a rare opportunity to work together as one big community team to support great nonprofits in our area, like CSL.

Doug Cowan, CSL’s president and CEO, has declared this the most successful one-day food drive in the organization’s 98-year history!

The Fill the Truck food drive would not have been successful without the dedication of Henri Goettel, our Youth Advisory Council coordinator, Hy-Vee and managers Paul, Sean, Chris and Matt. We also appreciate the support of The Examiner in providing coverage of the event.

This week we had two orientations for new students who are interested in joining the Youth Advisory Council and had more 150 attendees including their parents. It’s strong evidence that our young people truly do want to serve our community when we invite them to get involved. Let’s all look for more opportunities to invite them.

Next up for the Youth Advisory Council is assisting our grants committee with our annual community grants program. They help us make better decisions on grant requests for programs serving youth and will be actively involved throughout the summer. There is no summer vacation for the “School of Philanthropy.”

Phil Hanson is president and CEO of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, based in Independence.