Tis the season to help out others

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By Brittany Nieman

Members of SGA deliver thanksgiving baskets to social services.

Willa Brown, Staff Writer

The holiday season is a time to be thankful for what we have and a time to help the less fortunate.

Many people are not as fortunate during the holiday months, so it is important that we find ways to help these people. There are many ways to give back in our community.

“There are people that are less fortunate and if you are able to help you should,” freshman Courtney Daniels said. “Sponsor a child or children, help at your local food pantry to provide food for those who can’t normally afford it, and donate jackets that you don’t wear anymore to help the less fortunate stay warm during the cold winter months.”

Many of the school’s organizations are involved with helping the community during this time.

The newly formed HANDS club focuses on lending a helping hand. Founded by sophomore Carson Creef, HANDS stands for helpful, assisting, nurturing, dependable and selfless.

“There are numerous ways to give back to the community though the school”, Creef said. “The HANDS club is involved with Spring Arbor, an assisted living facility in Kill Devil Hills. At Spring Arbor, we utilize different talents among our team members in order to best entertain those living there. And, although giving back to the community is a wonderful notion, I truly believe that we should all give our thanks and praise to God, because of the innumerable ways he blesses us, including putting people in our lives that make our time on Earth more bearable.”

For the next two months, The FOR club is collecting coats. The club tries to improve the school and community throughout the year, and its coat drive will help any students in the school who doesn’t have access to coats during the cold months.

“The FOR club discussed how miserable winter could be without warm clothes so they decided this would be a tangible way to help others in our school,” club sponsor and guidance counselor Pam Yelle said. “[A lot] of us have coats hanging in our closets that we have either outgrown or just don’t wear any more. Why not get that coat out of our closets and give it to someone in need? You may find yourself feeling that warm glow that comes from giving to others as a result.”

During November and December, members of the SGA stay busy with community service activities. Each November they sponsor a school wide canned food drive. These items help make Thanksgiving baskets for local families in need and stock the Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church food pantry.

“This year we were able to collect over 800 items during our canned food drive,” senior Brittany Nieman said. “It was awesome because the participation among the school was more than ever before.”

In addition to taking seven full Thanksgivings meals and extra supplies to social services, the SGA was able to take 628 pounds of food the the food pantry.

SGA has also been collecting holiday items for families affected by Hurricane Matthew in Hatteras. Many families lost their homes and all that was in it. After speaking with representatives from Cape Hatteras Secondary School, SGA members decided this would be a good way to help out.

“I contacted the principal and counselor at Hatteras to see what they felt like the community needed as several groups were already doing things to help. They suggested the Christmas decorations as some people lost everything in the storm,” SGA sponsor and guidance counselor Marie White said. “I feel like it is good for our students to help out community people in need as we may be in that position one day and would really appreciate help from our community members.”

Members of the school’s National Honor Society brought in items for this and the school’s SADD club made a donation to put toward the holiday decorations as well.

SGA president Josh Pack also decided to have members of the SGA write letters to some of the local men and women serving overseas. He thought this would be a nice way for our school to thank those who serve our nation.

“I hope our letters encourage and support our nation’s heroes during the Holiday season,” Pack said.

Once again the school is collecting new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.Toys For Tots is a way to pass your blessings forward. All donations from Dare County, whether it be a new toy or a monetary gift stay local.

The theme of giving is brought into focus more during the holiday season than any other time of year,” school receptionist Pam Buscemi said. “We’re reminded to look at our own lives to reflect on the ways blessings have come to us. That in turn makes us wonder, ‘Why am I so blessed? How can I pass my blessings along to others?’”

Helping others, no matter how big or small the act is, goes along way. While it’s good to always help those in need, it seems to be more important than ever during the holiday season since this is often a time when people are reminded of what they don’t have.

Freshman Sarah Davis said, “Giving back is important because there are a lot of people out there that don’t have the things that we have and sometimes we take what we have for granted so it’s important to show others that we care.”