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Mt. Pleasant's Hy-Vee pays it forward with scavenger hunt

Lincoln students scour store for clues, collected items go to family in need

Union photo by Ashley Duong

Third-graders from Lincoln Elementary helped Hy-Vee staff through a store scavenger hunt. All items collected were donated to a local family in need.
Union photo by Ashley Duong Third-graders from Lincoln Elementary helped Hy-Vee staff through a store scavenger hunt. All items collected were donated to a local family in need.
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MT. PLEASANT — Giving back is what the holiday spirit is all about, according to third-graders from Lincoln Elementary School who took part in Hy-Vee’s Pay It Forward scavenger hunt on Monday, Dec. 9.

Hy-Vee in Mt. Pleasant kicked off its Pay It Forward Week with a store scavenger hunt. Items collected during the hunt were donated to a local family in need, who was jointly chosen by Mt. Pleasant’s Police Department, the Fellowship Cup and Community Action.

The excited group of third-graders, which included 11 students who were nominated to partake in the event by their peers, roamed the store with Angie White, a Hy-Vee Pharmacy employee, collecting clues that lead to products across the store.

Emma Humble, explained that the activity was important because it would give a family an opportunity to celebrate Christmas.

“You can give them the stuff that they need when they aren’t able to have it so they can have a holiday,” Humble said of why she and her classmates were helping with the scavenger hunt.

“It’s so people can have a great Christmas,” Jake Musselman added.

“Everybody can have a holiday and feel special,” Grace LeFever also added on how the contributions can help a family.

Ethan Beauchamp explained that he and his fellow classmates were chosen to do the scavenger hunt “because [they] showed pride.”

Chris Garcia further elaborated that “showing pride” meant “being nice and being good friends and helping a lot and acting good in school and class.”

Pay It Forward Week was started last year by the store’s pharmacy department.

Danielle Scott, the pharmacy manager, said she was inspired to start the week of community-minded

“I wanted to be able to focus on compassion and to bring that out instead of it being so much about the craziness and the chaos that at times we get lost in. This helps to give back, it’s fun to give back, makes you feel good,” Scott said.

“I think it’s good that kids learn that not everybody may be as fortunate as some are, so I feel it’s good for them to understand that it feels good to give back and they should learn what that feeling is like, instead of always just being on the receiving end,” Scott continued.

Items the students collected included a frozen pizza, cereal, laundry detergent, as well as toys, movies and a blanket and a couple gift cards. Following the hunt, Police Chief Lyle Murray arrived to pick up the items and deliver the goods to the chosen family. In total, the cost of all the items amounted to about $260.

Following the hunt, Police Chief Lyle Murray arrived to pick up the items and deliver the goods to the chosen family.

“I think it’s great that [the community] comes together to help … as a collaborative group, we came up with a family,” Murray said of how he worked with local charities and organizations to choose a family.

“I think it’ll help them out a bunch. They’ll get some food and some toys, few extra odds and ends … it’s a great thing for them,” Murray said.

Hy-Vee’s Pay It Forward week will continue through Friday, Dec. 13. On Tuesday, Dec. 10, the store will be hosting a dog costume contest with winners receiving free dog food and a toy bundle. The store also will be donating $200 to the local canine unit. On Wednesday, the store will be hosting a Music Celebration Day with performances from the Middle School and High School which will begin at 5:30 p.m. The store also will be serving meals for $8, with a goal of raising $1,000 for the Mt. Pleasant Music Boosters. Hy-Vee will have a Customer Appreciation Day on Thursday and will hand out candy canes and will be doing drawings for various prizes. To finish off the week, the Gilmore Givers from the Middle School will be making artwork at the store, which will be donated to local nursing homes in the area.