Not only did students at Summit School of Ahwatukee donate more than 17,000 diapers to Diaper Bank of Central Arizona, the most diapers per student of all schools that participated in Arizona, but they did it all in a two-week span.

For their efforts, Summit School received the Mighty Heart Award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize. The school plans to pay it forward by donating the proceeds to support other charitable causes in which the school participates.

“We’re going to put $500 back to the diaper drive and $500 to our Thanksgiving baskets that we give to Homeward Bound,” France said. “Part of what we teach at Summit is the importance of paying it forward and giving without expectation of return.”

This has been the second year that Summit School has led the Homeward Bound’s annual drive, and in 2011 the school collected 20,493 diapers — more than any school in Arizona.

The diaper drive is an annual event that runs from November to May, and helps non-profit agencies meet the urgent demand for diapers in the community.

Ginger Clayton, founder of the Diaper Bank of Central Arizona, said the organization plans on donating 1 million diapers to local non-profit organizations before the end of the year.

“We’re a really big advocate of children getting involved with doing community service projects. I think it helps them establish ground work to become a future leader, and helps them see life outside of their own lives,” Clayton said. “It also gives them different skills as far as they set goals on how many diapers they’ll donate, and figure out how they are going to meet that goal.”

Each year, student council members at Summit School help the school with promoting the diaper drive to students and parents.

Melissa France, student council adviser, said the school did the diaper drive in a two-week span because there were many different donation drives happening at the school.

“It’s rewarding for the students, and rewarding for me to see the students working so hard to give back to the community,” France said. “It’s definitely an experience that inspires them to do more on their own and with the school.”

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