By Jolyn Garcia & Justin Albright Posted December 12, 2012
Many people consider November and December to be times of giving. A time to give thanks for what we have, the people we care about, our good health, and to give to those in need.
Lowry High School has been doing an excellent job in helping those in need by holding annual food and clothes drives. Leaderships hosts the food drive every year. Seniors Renee Poole and Madison Waldie are in charge of the warm clothes drive. This year Lowry students will also be participating in a toy drive, which will help send toys to children whose families are unable to purchase them. The toy drive is a fundraising project hosted by the Junior class, which also included a Miracle Minute with proceeds going to help this cause.
National Honor Society adopts a family every year and donates clothes, food baskets, and toys during the holiday season and birthdays. NHS also hosts a community program called, You’ve Been Raked, where members clean up the yards of fellow citizens who are now unable to do so. Many members of the National Honor Society spend time tutoring kids who struggle in school and volunteer at community soup kitchens.
National Honor Society president Yoana Chavez believes that community service is something every student should be involved in.
“I think it’s very beneficial. You need to be out there in the community and do community service so people know who you are, and to get to know people in your community. You can’t enter colleges without saying that you were really involved in your community, because if you’re not involved in your community now you’re not going to be involved in college,” said Chavez.
The Winnemucca Boy Scouts also do a lot of giving in this special time of the year. Christopher Barta, who is almost an Eagle Scout, gave insight on what is required to move up a rank.
“To become an Eagle Scout, it takes a lot of work. You have to get badges where you have to do certain things to get each badge,” said Barta.
The benefits of service are meeting new people, being more involved in your school and community, earning credit towards graduation, and feeling like a greater part of your community.
“It’s also a lot of fun, it’s not just boring and cleaning up after people. You get to work with the elders or just people around your community,” added Chavez.
Giving back to the town you live in is one of the most important things you can do. Giving back allows you to get the amazing experience of meeting senior citizens, even volunteering in a hospital, or just helping anyone in need.
Lowry High teacher, Don Walton, not only spends time teaching students, he participates in many community service projects, mainly involving sports.
“Stuff I do here at Lowry has to do with volunteering to coach the JV basketball team, that’s a non-paid job. I’ve taken on all of the mowing responsibilities for football. I usually take care of the baseball and softball fields during their season. All of that is stuff you have to do out of regular work hours. I don’t know, around the community it’s just things you’re volunteering to do Little League games when they need it. In the past, I’ve called basketball games. Most of the stuff I do is sports oriented, and it’s stuff I enjoy doing. I don’t ask anyone to pay me for it,” said Walton.
Walton views making community service a requirement in schools as positive.
“Well, I really do think it’s a good thing. I think a lot of our service groups already do that. Such as Key Club, and Honor Society and I know those are good things. I know a lot of our football players go out and call those Little League games. Our basketball players and baseball players also go down and call Little League games. To make the entire student body responsible for doing community service, I really think that it’s nice, but I really don’t think it’s all that necessary,” said Walton.
Many of the sports teams at Lowry volunteer their time helping young athletes. In 2011, Varsity Girls soccer coach, Chris Entwistle, started a Lowry High soccer camp. Members of the varsity and JV girls soccer teams, along with a few boys, volunteered five hours a day to train young soccer players. The camp is a week-long and is held the first full week in August.
Many high schools in the eastern states have 40-75 hours of community service as a graduation requirement. Barta believes that adding community service hours as a graduation requirement would be a positive move by schools.
“I think it’d be a lot better if schools made it necessary for students to make students give back to the needy,” said Barta.
Not only have high schools adopted the service requirement, but as early as 1993 many universities required service hours to graduate. Since then, there have been Supreme Court cases arguing that “mandated service violated the prohibition in the 13th Amendment against involuntary servitude,” according to the “New York Times”.
When thinking of admitting new students colleges look at the extracurricular activities in which an individual was involved; this includes community service projects. Admissions officers place a high value upon a student’s long-term commitment to an organization or a cause. DoSomething.org releases a survey every year on the most important elements of an excellent college application, according to admissions officers from 32 of the “U.S. News & World Report’s” top 50 colleges and universities. Out of the admissions officers, 75 percent preferred students to be committed and constantly involved in one issue, rather than many different ones. This percentage is 25 percent greater than last year’s result of 50 percent. Nancy Lublin, the CEO of DoSomething.org is surprised every year by the survey results.
“Consistency is the new trend here. Students who support one cause over time show commitment and perseverance, both of which are stellar traits for potential co-eds,” said Lublin, according to usnews.com.
According to Volunteeringinamerica.org, Nevada is ranked 50th among the states, for the percent of residents who volunteer, with only 20.9 percent of residents volunteering their time. In 2010, only 421,500 of Nevada’s 2,700,511 residents volunteered their time. These individuals served 100.3 hours of service for either a nonprofit organization or through a community organization. The greatest project that Nevada residents volunteered for was fundraising.
The number one ranked state in volunteering is Nevada’s eastern neighbor, Utah. With 44.5 percent of residents volunteering, totaling to 884,00 volunteers, Utah has double the number of volunteers as Nevada. The highest ranked activity that Utah residents participate in is tutoring or teaching. Other top activities in Utah include mentoring the youth, general labor, and collecting and distributing food.
The holiday season is not the only time to be giving. There are always people who need help and there are many great organizations that need workers. Community service should not be viewed as something that is dreadful, boring, and only done because it is required. Nevada is in last place for service hours, but that could change if residents began to help out others. Find out what organizations are in your community and that you’re interested in. It’s never too late to be a part of something great.