More than a room: Guntersville High School Wildcat Pantry gives daily essentials to students in need

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Sometimes it's knowing that you helped someone else that's the most rewarding, and a group of volunteers with giving hearts do it every week.

An unassuming room at the back of Guntersville High School is a place that will really touch your heart. "This is called the Guntersville High School Wildcat Pantry, and it is a collaboration of the community coming together and trying to make a difference in the life of a child," explained parent volunteer Wendy Griffin.

That's what a group of ladies and other volunteers do every week. "They can come and they can shop independently for anything they might need," Griffin added.

The students can get toiletries, clothes, blankets, school supplies, food - just daily essentials. "It's all free. We don't limit how many bags they take."

Sometimes their requests are a sobering surprise to the volunteers. "Occasionally a kid will come in and they will say 'can I have this for my brother, or my grandmother needs a blanket. I don't have a blanket for my bed. Can my grandmother have a blanket as well?'" Griffin explained, "One kid takes two bags of food a week if we have it."

Sometimes, things like dish soap or laundry detergent are requested.

This year the pantry has grown exponentially. The volunteers say that's all because the people in the Guntersville community are so generous.

The room is so much more than a bunch of donated things. "We're hearing stories, they're talking to us, they're confiding in us, and we just feel like as a volunteering spirit, together as a group we can make a difference."

If you'd like to help out, the volunteers have some specific needs for the pantry, including food, new toiletry items, and Christmas snacks in tins. They also need stand-alone shelving.

You can call the school to see how to donate, or you can drop off donations at Curls and Pearls, located at 502 Blount Ave, Guntersville.