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Teaching students compassion

Cannon and his students participate in their yearly trip to the Salvation Army Treatment Center. [WSD photo]

Jerry Cannon teaches history at Wentzville Middle. But last month, he taught compassion when he brought a busload of seventh and eighth-grade students to the Salvation Army Midtown Treatment Center to distribute donated items.

“We collect personal items, clothing, and coats,” Cannon said. “Then, we try to make sure they get into the hands of people who need it this time of year.”

The focus is on homeless veterans, but anyone in need is welcome to participate.

Cannon came up with the idea when he visited the Salvation Army with his church to sing for homeless veterans.

“I saw a man who looked like my grandfather,” Cannon said. “I thought, if my grandfather was homeless, I would be just terribly sick. I wanted to go out and help after that. We are coming into cold weather. They need these coats and gloves and socks.”

Cannon’s students have been visiting the center during the holiday season for the past 11 years.

“Going to the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter was pivotal, not only in my life, but in all of the students who went,” student Ki’aire Rounds said. “It was a true eye-opener because it showed me how thankful I should be for all I have, because everyone is not that fortunate. Helping those who served our country made me feel good, and it was heartwarming to see how appreciative they were for even getting small things that we take for granted.”

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