Serving Our School

There+are+tons+of+opportunities+to+join+service+clubs

Kate Cressey

There are tons of opportunities to join service clubs

Claire Kuwana, Sentry Staff Reporter

It’s a fact that Yorktown students are always looking to get involved, and lucky for them, there are tons of clubs to join. From collecting sports equipment for kids to building houses, there is definitely something for everyone. Not only are these clubs super fun and rewarding to participate in, but they also look great on applications. Some of the most prominent ones are Key Club, Habitat for Humanity and Girl Up. This year in particular there have been a lot of new service clubs created or restarted. Some of these include Tales for Tots, Reuse and Replay, Red Cross Club and YHS Gives Back.

Key Club is an organization that focuses on developing students’ leadership skills through community service. It is affiliated with the Kiwanis Club International, a global volunteer organization, and it requires both dues and service hours; however, joining this club presents students with a great opportunity to be a leader while participating in long standing community service activities. One activity the club participates in every year is laying wreaths at the Arlington National Cemetery.

“Key Club is all about giving back to your community, which is why I like it so much… [if] I am able to make a difference in the lives of people who need it or make a positive change in the community, I should,” junior member Katie Strickland said.

Another popular service club is Habitat for Humanity; their goal is to help provide affordable and adequate housing for low-income people by volunteering at restores, organizing fundraisers and helping to build houses in the area. Members occasionally work with Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) at various volunteer events.

A relatively new and extremely popular service club, Girl Up, focuses on fighting gender inequality by raising money and awareness, specifically with regards to education. Senior and club president Caroline Fatemi started the chapter here last September, and since then, the club has partnered with other schools in the area to raise over $600 for girls in developing countries. In just one year, the club has already coordinated a 5k, organized bake sales, and put on a showing of the movie He Named Me Malala.

“This year we will be supporting the Education for Vulnerable Girls Act by making calls and writing letters to our elected representatives [and] we hope to host a charity Sadie Hawkins dance at the school to raise money for the Girl Up campaign, as well as breaking social norms at our school and encouraging girls to ask boys,” Fatemi said.

As if students do not already have enough options, this year many new service clubs have been founded. One of those is YHS Gives Back, a club that presents an opportunity for students to get involved in community service projects and fundraising. The club had existed prior to this year; however, it eventually dissolved. Senior and president of the club Maddi Reicherter decided to restart the club after participating in it as a sophomore.

“I thought it would be a great idea to start it up again because I want everyone to have opportunities to be involved…growing up in Northern Virginia, a very privileged place, we are not really exposed to what is going on in other places. Doing service projects allows me to do something about it,” Reicherter said.

Another club that was just started this year is Tales for Tots, a club in which members write books and then read and discuss them with elementary school students. Junior and club founder Emily Brooks started the club after one of her teachers mentioned how not being able to afford school supplies really hinders a child’s learning.

“The purpose is to get elementary school students more engaged in learning and writing.We want the kids to have fun with learning and make it easier for them to understand topics… our eventual goal is to provide [books] to schools with low funding,” Brooks said.

Red Cross Club is an additional club that was just started this year. Founded by sophomore Sarah Murphy, this club plans to participate in a couple of Red Cross survival projects per year, among other things.

“We’re going to host a blood drive and make cards and other things to give to soldiers,” said sophomore and member Emma Hutchinson.

Last but not least, the new club Reuse and Replay is an organization that collects old sports equipment through drives and donations. Then, members give the gathered equipment to children in other places who cannot afford to buy their own.

Evidently, if students are looking for a simple way to give back their community while having fun with their peers, they should look no further than the many service clubs established here. These clubs may vary in the issue that they focus their efforts towards; however, they all share one common goal: to help make a difference by working to improve the lives of those around them.