This year on Halloween night, some people may have been surprised when they opened their doors.

Instead of wanting candy, a group of 27 students from Seymour High School dressed in costumes and went trick-or-treating in area neighborhoods for canned goods.

Four different organizations from the school — Key Club, the Owls baseball team, Students Against Destructive Decisions and the Jobs for America’s Graduates program — came together to go door-to-door on Oct. 31, collecting canned and non-perishable food for Anchor House’s community food pantry.

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Total, the students collected 936 items.

The amount wasn’t as much as the previous year, when students collected 2,905 canned goods, but those involved were still proud of the community’s willingness to give and help others with no notice.

“I thought it was amazing,” said senior Madi Brackemyre, president of SADD. “Flyers weren’t sent out this year, so I was amazed with how many people weren’t prepared but jumped in to help.”

The event was organized by the Key Club, an organization that promotes student leadership, philanthropy and community involvement.

Key Club President Sydney Johnson said she was surprised so many students volunteered to help.

“I was not expecting so many other groups to help out,” she said.

Key Club has worked with Anchor House in the past, Johnson said.

“Anchor House helps so many people each year and this is just one thing we can do to help out,” she said. “This is just one project we do to really help them out and make a difference in our community.”

Johnson believes all students should volunteer.

“I think more kids should get involved because it is a great way to help the community,” she said.

Her favorite part of the event was having the opportunity to spend more time outside of school with other Key Club members and her peers.

Brackemyre said SADD students participated to show how much they care about all people in the community.

“Everything we do is to show that the youth want to make our community better,” she said. “We live here. We might as well make it the best we can.”

She enjoyed seeing different school organizations and the community coming together to help those less fortunate.

“It sounds cheesy, but it’s the truth,” she said. “It makes us feel so great to help others.”

Getting to trick-or-treat for canned goods or volunteering at Anchor House is an experience she won’t forget.

“I think more kids should get involved because looking at all the canned goods really shows you how the small things each house donates really does add up,” she said. “We take all the small things for granted as teenagers, and it’s an eye opener.”

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January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.