Helping hands: Community Council hosts Community Service Week

Anusha Mathur

Community Council hosted Community Service Week to benefit a variety of charitable organizations March 5-9.

Students kicked off the week by decorating posters to support the children participating in the Special Olympics on Friday.

In partnership with Ocean Park Community Center, sophomores made hygiene kits for homeless teens around Los Angeles during class meeting. The organization strives to decrease homelessness and provide education and resources to the community at large.

Sophomores stuffed products including shampoo, toothpaste, hair brushes and a personalized note into ziplock bags, which will be distributed to the teens. Monica Martell ’20 said she was grateful for the opportunity to directly benefit others by giving them basic necessities and appreciated the personalized aspects of the activity.

“One of the first things we did, even before assembling the kits was handwrite notes,” Martell said. “I was thinking about all the teenagers who are going to read them and think about other teenagers like them who care. I felt a little connection [to them] because I was helping a real person.”

Juniors packaged over 20,000 meals to benefit the hunger relief program, Rise Against Hunger, during their class meeting Tuesday. Packages included soy, vegetables, rice and a vitamin pack.

Zoe Banks ’19 said she was glad that her whole grade came together to support the cause.

“If you are lucky enough to come into the world as privileged as we are, I think you should help to spread the love and help others when you can,” Banks said.

Two representatives from Homeboy Industries, an organization that supports formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women, spoke to seniors about their difficult lives as gang-members during class meeting Wed. 

Natalie Blut ’18 said she was inspired by how the organization helped the speakers turn their lives around and become valuable community members.

“The representatives talked about their tumultuous and painful upbringings and the positive, bright future they now have because of Homeboy Industries,” Blut ’18 said. “It is super important for us to hear from people whose lives are completely opposite from ours because they have a different perspective.”

While Sophia Nuñez ’20 said she was grateful for the opportunity to help those in need throughout the week, she said she hopes students will continue to give back to the community throughout the year.

“We live in a very privileged area with a lot of opportunities,” Nuñez said. “This week was a great reminder that we should not just be doing community service now. We should extend our outreach to every day of the year.”