St. Helens students chip in for day of service
Middle school students serve the community on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
On Monday, Jan. 18, nearly 50 students, parents, and staff from the St. Helens School Middle School volunteered around town during the schools annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
At 9 a.m., students and staff gathered at the school before splitting into groups of four that volunteered at various locations. Projects included sorting donations and laundry for the Columbia County Warming Center at the Community Action Team building, sweeping and vacuuming at the St. Helens Senior Center, making cookies for Community Meals hosted by the First Lutheran Church, and picking up litter around the school grounds.
The National Junior Honor Society at the middle school began organizing volunteer days like this several years ago to help students give back to the community. While many students who volunteered Monday are society members, others simply wanted to help out.
Several students brought their parents and younger siblings to volunteer as well.
Jan Stites, the Warming Centers coordinator, said the help from students and parents was much appreciated. The center is a volunteer-run operation, Stites said, explaining that tasks such as taking inventory and organizing supplies dont always happen with limited volunteers.
Were really pleased to take some inventory ... so we know where we are, Stites said. We can see what we need. Thats a really important things for us to keep track of.
Maddie Holm, an eighth-grader and the middle schools president of the National Junior Honor Society, said she enjoys getting to meet people when she volunteers. Holm spent the morning cleaning at the senior center with her classmates.
Sarah Bartocci, an eighth-grader and co-president of the Builders Club, a club focused on volunteering and community service projects at the middle school, spent her time decorating cookies that will be donated to Community Meals. Bartocci said its a nice feeling to give back.
A lot of people here dont have much, so the little bit that we can do means the world to them, Bartocci said.
After hours of work, student and adult volunteers wrapped up the day by enjoying pizza together back at St. Helens Middle School.
See more photos from the event below: