Reaching Out: Community Service at WHS
Most people barely think that they have time to change their own lives, and much less the lives of others; while other students take it upon themselves to help their community. Despite their busy lives, school work, and social commitments, some students at WHS find the time to give back to their community.
At WHS, Octagon Club helps Woodside students get involved with their community. Run by Advanced Standing English teacher Kathleen Coughlin, the club collaborates to help out at a variety of volunteer events and charity drives. A member of the club, Junior Makayla Karr-Warner explained, “We meet every Monday at lunch to sign up for different community service opportunities.”
Karr-Warner went on to say, “ There is a wide range of opportunities; it’s not like you are focusing on one area like animals, but you can try different things. You can choose events that work with your schedule.” Octagon Club offers a variety of diverse opportunities. Before break, the students stuffed easter eggs for kids and also catered a spaghetti and crab feed. Students also go to a senior citizens club and read poems to children for national publishing month. The students even helped out at school and in the environment. Students monitor bird houses in the WHS garden to help nesting species.Whether you like working with animals, children, the elderly, or people with special needs, there are many volunteer opportunities for you.
Students do community service for a variety of reasons. Karr-Warner says, “I joined the [Octagon] club because I am a junior and I honestly need community service hours. I didn’t just do it because of that, though. It’s a good way to help the community, even though it might not really seem like a big difference in the world. It makes you feel good about yourself.”
Junior Julia Belanoff, the president of the Octagon club explained her reasons for volunteering. “I thought it would be fun to help out the community and it would be nice to form associations with different community service groups and Ilike going out into the community and helping people.”
Some students also do community service independently or as part of classes. Juniors Lexi Mendoza and Christina York catch cats as community service for their AP Environmental Science class. Mendoza explained, “we set up cat traps with food in them after school either in the vegetable garden or by the dumpster. Then we get there early to see if we got one. If we have some we bring them to the Nine Lives Clinic, where they are either spayed or neutered.” The students then release the cats, and by doing this, the students help prevent the population of stray cats from rising. Mendoza shared, “I really enjoy animals so I like being able to interact with them and know I’m helping in some way.”
Students at Woodside get involved and offer their time in and outside of school. Although Woodside has no volunteer hour requirements, many students acquire them anyways. Volunteering is a great way to use your free time effectively and to give back to your community. If you would like to offer your time and participate in community service, look at the links and information below:
The Humane Society works to prevent, protect, and rescue animals from abuse and neglect. Volunteers can work in shelters to help care for dogs, cats, and a variety of other animals.
The Octagon Club is a community service group run by students and sponsored by the Redwood City chapter of Optimists International. Students and club members have the opportunity to volunteer with various organizations such as: Second Harvest Food Bank, Rebuilding Together Peninsula, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, Crane Place, RWC Spooktacular, Peninsula Library System, Beach clean-ups and restoration, African Library Project, RWC Optimists Crab Feed, and the Salvation Army.
Octagon Club meets Mondays at lunch in Ms. Coughlin’s room E-10
St. Anthony Padua Dining Room:
The St. Anthony Padua dining hall provides the homeless, needy, and financially unstable with warm meals. The Clothing Distribution Center also provides clothing for those in need. Volunteers can help gather, prepare, serve, and distribute food.
The Red Cross:
Volunteers can help send messages and packages to members of the military, teach CPR and other first aid classes, help with disaster prevention and rebuilding efforts, or raise funds to support Red Cross efforts.
For information of volunteer opportunities in Redwood City, visit: http://www.redwoodcity.org/library/volunteer.html
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