Dickson and Lone Grove High Schools will try to out-give one another next month.
Throughout the month of October ­— during Domestic Violence Awareness Month — both schools will collect donations for the Ardmore Children’s Shelter and the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma. Baylie Hughes, who serves on the senior advisory board for the Dickson Student Council, said the drive will replace the school’s annual joint soap drive with Sulphur High School.  
“Dickson’s always a family,” Hughes said. “We’re always families first, we always come together, so we wanted to give back to the family shelter and the children’s shelter because the people in there are our classmates, that’s one of our friends.”
Donation boxes will be stationed at each school building. The winning student council will be presented with a trophy and recognized during halftime at Dickson’s  Oct. 28 football game.
“It’s really going to be the high schools, but we’re going to put everybody’s totals in,” Hughes said.
The elementary schools will focus on collecting kid-friendly canned goods and nonperishable snacks like macaroni and cheese, soups, ramen noodles and crackers. Middle schools will collect household items like trash bags, cleaners, toilet paper and paper towels. The high schools will collect personal care items like soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, socks, underwear and feminine hygiene products.
In addition, Dickson Middle School will be collecting 60-inch squares of fleece to make blankets, and all Dickson schools will collect $20 Walmart gift cards to buy more fleece. Hughes said her student council made blankets for the children’s shelter during a community service week, known as CARE Week, last March.
“I know in southern Oklahoma, people are competitive,” Hughes said. “We know we have a bunch of people who are excited for it.”
Hughes and other student council members will be collecting donations at the Ardmore Walmart on Oct. 13.
Olivia Carrell, a counselor with the Children’s Shelter, said Thanksgiving is a busy time for the Children’s Shelter as they give families supplies for Thanksgiving dinner every year and throw a Christmas party for everyone they serve.
“We love to see the younger ones get involved and head this stuff up,” Carrell said. “We don’t see it a whole lot, but I love that [they] are doing this.”