By Heidi Glaus
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KSDK) - The first Friday of every month, students from Francis Howell High School take a field trip across town to sort, mark and stack countless canned goods.
"It's hard work, but it's fun," says Addison Holzum, one of the students.
It's a time-consuming task that is actually two-fold.
"When the Salvation Army has food drives they have a lot of cans that need to be sorted," Tracy Graham, special education teacher at Francis Howell, points out.
The experience also teaches these students something they wouldn't necessarily learn in a classroom.
"It helps them to understand their role in the community, it makes them feel valuable," Graham adds.
It gives them purpose.
"For a lot of our kids so many people are doing for them, this is their chance to come out and do for others and that makes them feel really good," Graham says.
It's something these students need like anybody else, maybe even more so.
"Another reality is some of our kids might not get a job right out of high school, but you know what they can go out and volunteer in their community and maybe that will lead to a job," Graham says.
They have definitely made an impression on Captain Laura Key with the Salvation Army.
"They're always like, 'What can I do, what can I do, I want to help,'" Key says.
And once finished with their work, they actually leave happier than when they arrived.
"The best part is when I'm done and I feel happy that I helped people," Holzum says with a smile.