Students raise $800 in week of service

Community Council raised over $800 during the inaugural Community Service Week, beginning with a Community Service Club Fair on Dec. 3 and ending on Dec. 7 by packing sacked lunches for homeless people of Los Angeles.

Each day, Community Council provided additional opportunities for students to learn about community service opportunities and to become involved.

Community Service Week kicked off with the Community Service Club Fair during break and Coffee House after school,  where students were encouraged to donate to Superstorm Sandy relief efforts on Dec. 3.

Students built wooden birdhouses to donate to Habitat for Humanity families and bought baked goods to raise money for hygiene kits for homeless teens.

They also wrote letters to soldiers, part of an Operation Gratitude event, on Tuesday.

“The letter writing for soldiers was amazing,” Community Council member Nicole West ’14 said. “Students responded really well and we were able to send lots of letters to the troops.”

Hot-dogs and hamburgers were available for purchase from the Dog Haus food truck located on the quad on Wednesday.

Of the $7.50 students paid, $1.50 was donated to Hurricane Sandy relief.

Students were also invited to donate an additional amount to the relief effort if they so wished.

Around 280 food items were sold, according to Chaplain J. Young.

Throughout the week, there was a  toy drive as well as a hygiene drive and an SAT/ACT/AP supplies drive.

Donations to the Sandy relief effort carried over to Thursday, as students hosted another bake sale throughout the day. Students also decorated paper bags that would be used to pack lunches for the homeless in Los Angeles.

“I think it was really great that Community Council had a lot of different activities going on during the week, because students were forced to pay attention to what was going on and participate in the activities,” Camelia Somers ’14 said.

While some students entered the lounge to pack sack lunches for the homeless on Friday, others ventured outside, where an ice cream truck was waiting to reward those students who had already completed their community service requirement with free ice cream.

In addition to these events throughout the week, Community Council also invited a Special Olympics participant to speak to each grade at class meetings. Marissa Watkins, a 19-year-old participant in Special Olympics for the past 7 years, spoke about how Special Olympics helped her become more self-confident and excel in athletics. She encouraged students to get involved.

“From our perspective, the event wasn’t about raising money or selling hamburgers or even being inspired by a young lady from Special Olympics, Young said. “It was about enabling students here to think about community service, It was time to get the word out and get students to think about helping others.”

Both Young and Director of Student Affairs Jordan Church expect Community Service Week to become an annual event, following in the footsteps of other yearly events such as Fanatic Fest and Activities Fair.

“I compare it to Fanatic Fest because Fanatic Fest is a week to get kids excited about school spirit, and this is a week to get kids excited about community service,” Young said.

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