Students at Broad Street Elementary School in the Mechanicsburg Area SD collect food for Operation Wildcat’s Project Thanksgiving, which supplies baskets of food to local families in need at the holiday.
Students at Broad Street Elementary School in the Mechanicsburg Area SD collect food for Operation Wildcat’s Project Thanksgiving, which supplies baskets of food to local families in need at the holiday.

Mechanicsburg SD knows that student success hinges on more than just quality instruction. It also means meeting material needs for food and clothing when family resources fall short. Operation Wildcat (OW) aims to engage the community in caring for students through donations of needed goods and fundraisers. The organization was started by parent-teacher organizations at the district’s schools and the Parent Advisory Committee to help local families.
In addition to seasonal initiatives like Project Thanksgiving, Project Tannenbaum and Project Gift Box, which ensure that children in the district receive Thanksgiving food baskets, holiday decorations and some of their gift wishes, the group organizes many initiatives that operate year-round. Project Back to School collects donations of school supplies in bins at each district school. Donations of grocery gift cards, clothing and gently used shoes are collected and distributed as needed to students, and furniture items like beds and appliances are also accepted. Twice a year, OW holds a community year sale at a local church, where families can donate items and/or shop. All proceeds go to meet student needs.
OW communicates with families in the district through a weekly email newsletter and Facebook posts outlining ongoing and immediate needs, and helping to organize and recognize the work of its many volunteers. The group also coordinates with student teams, local fire stations, churches and businesses for donations and help. Families in need can receive assistance through OW via their child’s school counselor. To learn more visit OW’s Facebook page.