H.O.P.E. Club hosts a drive for the holiday season
In preparation for the Viola Blythe Community Center’s annual holiday program, H.O.P.E. Club is asking for food items and other basic necessities from the students and faculty of American High School.
“Any donations are welcome: toys, clothes, and supplies,” H.O.P.E. Club president Ralion Herzog said. “However, food is most important for the holiday season.”
H.O.P.E. Club was founded this school year to help multiple nonprofit organizations in the Tri-City area. Since then, they have narrowed their focus to the Viola Blythe Community Service Center.
“We want to make a big impact on a small, local organization rather than a small change in a bunch of larger organizations with a wider reach,” vice president Mangesh Darke (12) said.
Club president Ralion Herzog (12) first became acquainted to the Viola Blythe Community Service Center after volunteering his time with his family there over summer.
“Their mission is to help low income families and the homeless by giving them essentials such as food and clothes,” Herzog said. “With H.O.P.E. Club, we hope to cultivate the same spirit of giving within the school.”
For many people around the community who struggle to support themselves and their family, the festivities provided by the organization will be their only chance of participating in the holiday cheer.
“Food and security are huge issues in America,” science teacher Ms. Wheaton said. “For parents who have to choose between food and gifts for their family, these donations will allow them to provide both.”
Although November 20 is the first deadline in time for the Thanksgiving feast, the canned food drive will go on until December 18. H.O.P.E. Club is aiming for three hundred cans plus dried food, in addition to the other basic supplies.
“I’ve heard about the canned food drive once or twice, but I think it’s a really good idea for helping those who need it,” Cameron Avila (10) said.
To encourage donations, H.O.P.E. Club is planning to find teachers in every grade level to collect cans and awarding the class that collects the most cans with pizza.
“I wasn’t really aware of the canned food drive,” senior J.H. Lim said. “It needs more publicity, and the donations bins should stand out more. Another trash bin in the Rotunda isn’t very eye-catching.”
For a number of students, the food drive has not even reached their ears.
“I didn’t know about it at all,” Emily Gatt (12) said. “I think not enough people were talking about it for word to spread. More teachers should get involved too.”
Since not many students or faculty members have contributed to the canned food drive, H.O.P.E Club is still a long way from its target.
“The Viola Blythe Community Center is still lacking in food items,” Darke said. “With the size of our student body, even one can per student will be enough. Most importantly, it will make a huge difference on people’s lives.”