Clear Spring High students take pride in giving

December 13, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER |
  • Clear Spring High School students have been collecting clothing and food for the less fortunate. Among those leading the school's holiday service projects are, front, Gavin Myers, History Club and Student Government Association (SGA); Matthew Blair, History Club and SGA; and Melanie Walter, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Back, Megan Micco, History Club; Mollie Kemp, SGA; and Dylan Wertz, FBLA.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

CLEAR SPRING — When times get tough, the students at Clear Spring High School get extra generous.

The students spread goodwill each year through several holiday service projects, but this year they have increased their efforts and turned their attention closer to home.

Principal Michael Shockey said the last time he saw students working this hard to help those in need was the recession of the 1970s.

“The harder things get, the more acts of kindness come out of these kids,” he said.

Student Government Association President Matt Blair, a senior at the school, said a life of service starts in youth.

From their first day at Clear Spring High, a student has a hard time not catching the “fever” of community service spread by his or her peers, he said.

“The way I look at everything is, it is up to the young people and the youth of the world to really decide what the world is going to be like,” Blair said.

“You get a sense of achievement when you do things for the community,” said Shannon Bishop, historian for the Clear Spring chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

“It is the social responsibility of businesses to care for their communities,” said Dylan Wertz, a senior in FBLA. “If we plan to lead businesses in the future, we need to learn to give back to our community and to the U.S. as a whole.”

With Christmas less than two weeks away, student groups at the school have started a clothing drive, a food drive and have been selling cocoa. Additionally, they have adopted a family for the season and have volunteered at Valley Mall as gift wrappers for the American Red Cross. They will volunteer there again, gift wrapping at Bon-Ton.

“The student organizations practically knock each other down trying to organize their service projects,” Shockey said, describing student enthusiasm for volunteering.

Blair said the student government is leading the clothing drive and the family adoption.

Boxes will be set out at Clear Spring sporting events between now and Christmas break to collect clothing, he said.

Thanks to a generous donation from a local businessman, the student government anticipates it will donate about $1,000 in cash and items to a local family, he said.

The history club is holding a food drive to benefit the Clear Spring Food Bank, Blair said.

The club has a goal to collect 700 cans of food by Thursday, he said.

In the first day of collecting, the club already had more than 100 cans, he said.

Not only will the history club donate the food to the Clear Spring Food Bank, a flier for the drive said the club will match the food donations with cash.

According to the flier, if students donate more than 700 cans, the club will give $300 to the food bank, and if students donate 500 to 700 cans, the club will donate $250. If the students donate fewer than 500 cans, the club will match the donation with $200, according to the flier.

FBLA has been selling hot cocoa before school this month to raise money for the March of Dimes, the official nonprofit adopted by the national FBLA association, said club President Melanie Walters, a junior.

FBLA hosts a different fundraiser each month to benefit the March of Dimes, she said.

The tradition of holiday community service started long before any of the current students came to Clear Spring High School, Blair said.

But each year, the students make the projects their own, he said.

FBLA adviser Karen Teach said each student must have 75 volunteer hours to graduate.

Even if volunteering weren’t required, Blair said the students would still reach out to help the less fortunate in Clear Spring.

“It’s not because of me or our staff that we do this,” he said. “It’s really because we all want to do this. If I was not here, someone else would step up to lead it.”

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