Kids Caring for Kids

3rd annual Citizens Bank cereal drive benefiting Cullman Caring for Kids March 9-13

Cullman Caring for Kids Executive Director Javon Daniel was a happy man after last year’s drive filled the agency’s shelves. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

Winners to be announced in The Cullman Tribune

CULLMAN, Ala. – Two years ago, Josh Campbell and Citizens Bank & Trust (CBT) sponsored a hasty cereal drive to respond to an emergency shortage at the Cullman Caring for Kids (CCK) United Way food bank near the end of the school year. In 2019, they decided to get ahead of the need and hold a competitive drive among area elementary schools early in the spring, before warm weather increases demand. Now the drive, called “Kids Caring for Kids,” is returning for a third year, March 9-13. It takes the form of a contest for all area elementary schools, pitting class against class–across school lines and within the same school–to see who can come up with the most cereal for Cullman County’s needy kids. To make things fair, classes will be ranked, not on total numbers of boxes, but on the ratio of number of boxes given to the number of students in the class. The top three donating classes will win pizza parties courtesy of CBT.

Last year’s top three donors were:

  • First place – Kristy Harris’s first-grade class at Fairview Elementary; 16 students donated 80 boxes.
  • Second place – Tracy Holmes’s fifth-grade class at Sacred Heart School; 20 students donated 70 boxes.
  • Third place – Brandy Fields’s first-grade class at Welti Elementary, 13 students donated 37 boxes.


Cereal is a year-round staple for CCK, which gives away up to 650 boxes per month.

In a previous interview, CCK Executive Director Javon Daniel explained, “It’s a nutritious way for kids to have a breakfast without it having to be cooked.  It’s at least a good start for the day: oatmeal in the winter time; they need a hot meal to get them started; in summer time, a bowl of cereal goes a long way.  If you’ve got a cranky child at 10 at night, you know, give them a bowl of cereal and they’ll go on to sleep. So cereal, it’s just a good thing.

“I eat a bowl of cereal, not every morning, but most mornings.  It’s a quick thing, and it’s an easy thing, and it alleviates that hungry child.  That child eats a bowl of cereal, he doesn’t go to school hungry. He may not be full, but he doesn’t go to school hungry.”

“Citizens Bank & Trust is proud to sponsor the cereal drive again this year. We are all blessed to live in a community filled with families, organizations, schools and companies that continue to live out what God asked us to do, which is, show love to our fellow man by taking care of those in need,” said Campbell. “Jesus asked the question, ‘How can you understand heavenly things if you cannot understand the simplest of things in this life, which is to love.’ I’m paraphrasing, of course. So, it does my heart good to see our community have so many that give without reward, love without question.

“We at CB&T are blessed to work for a company dedicated to serving our community by giving our employees time, effort, and resources to help fulfill these needs, as the bank allows us to plan and organize events like this. Time is always a challenge, though, and we hope that the drive continues to progress as the need for organizations like Cullman Caring for Kids continues to grow alongside Cullman.

“We have more participation this year than before, and the schools that couldn’t participate have already committed to other drives. My hope this year is the same as it was when we started this drive to help Cullman Caring for Kids fulfill the obligations they have to the families that depend on them each month. But more so, to see our community come together (once again) for a common goal, to help those in need, not to forget the mindset that shined so bright in April 2011, and to do what Jesus said, love each other.”

Winner to be announced in The Tribune

CBT is going old-school for this contest: as in 2019, the winners will be announced in print in The Tribune, followed by an online posting of the results. Look for the winners in the Tuesday, March 18 print edition.

“A generation that does care”

After last year’s drive filled the shelves at CCK, Daniel told The Tribune, “It is absolutely amazing to watch how much the children of this community want to give.  I shouldn’t be surprised by it- but I am, every time- because they’re following the lead of this community, and this is such a giving community.  It still amazes me. I’ve lived in Cullman all my life, and I’ve watched this community, every time there’s a need, step up and go beyond. The kids that participated in this cereal drive, it just warms my heart to know that we are raising a generation that does care.”

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W.C. Mann