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Anderson 'giving plate' helps put special spirit in homecoming

Celebration honors late Jim Pope
Posted at 2:24 AM, Sep 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-29 02:35:10-04

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -  There’s a special meaning to homecoming at Anderson High School this weekend. The school is honoring a former employee who passed away, and some are using the occasion to spread kindness around the community.

Sue Wood, an Anderson mom, came up with the idea of a “giving plate.” The plate bears treats and these words: "You have received a giving plate … please enjoy the treats bestowed upon you."

Most importantly, the plate bears friendship.

“The plate is specifically about showing kindness to others and building our community back together as one through kindness," said Wood.

People who receive the plate are supposed to refill it with their own treats and pass it along to a friend or neighbor or even a complete stranger.

Wood said she received quite a reaction after posting her idea to Facebook.

“I've had a lot of different people from a lot of different areas of my life come over and make plates,” Wood said. ”I'm just trying to build community through kindness and baked goods."

Adding meaning to this year’s homecoming is the memory of Jim Pope, a former employee and friend to many.

"Everything has been built around Jim Pope and his family,” said Chris Newton, Anderson High School Athletic Director. “And that's what this plate is. It's about strength and doing things for each other and our community and making our community a better place."

Even students are getting on board, including Wood’s son John, a junior at Anderson.

“It was a great idea to do it because it promotes happiness around Anderson Township,” John said. 

So where is the plate in Newton's care off to next? The A.D. has a tough decision to make.

"I've got it narrowed down to about five people right now,” Newton said, “and you're right, it is a big responsibility because I want to make sure it’s in someone's hands who will feel about it the exact same way I feel about it."

And what treats will go on the plate?

Newton said he’s thinking of having his wife make cookies.

“If I don't eat them all, I'll put them all out there," Newton said.

There are about two dozen plates circulating around Anderson.

You can follow the "giving plate" journeys on Twitter @ATplate18